On 27th October 1905 a Public Libraries Service was opened in the former borough of Deptford. Andrew Carnegie promised a sum of £9000 for a central library and £4,500 each for two branch libraries. The present site was purchased for the central library in October 1909 for £5,600. Originally three shops stood here. Andrew Carnegie was again approached in August 1910 with a request to increase the funding. The final figure for the central library amounted to £12,000.
The architect was Sir H (?) Brumwell Thomas, who also designed West Greenwich library.
The Deptford Central Library was closed down in June 1991. The vacant building suffered heavily from vandalism, attracted squatters and became a venue for illegal raves. The damage in the first year was estimated at £70,000. The local pressure group, the Friends of Deptford Library, convinced the local authority that the building not be sold for redevelopment but remain in community usage and in March 1994 Lewisham ARthouse moved in.
Awarded Grade II listing in 1973.
Current status: Now an arts centre (2016)
- Year grant given (if known):
- Amount of grant: £12,000
- Year opened (and by who – if known): 18 July 1914
Photo of library today:
Old photo of library (postcard):
Nothing in my collection yet
Yes, in 2006, but the building wasn’t open, so we only saw the outside.