Withington library

Brief description

On 13th October 1911, a library service was set up by the City Council in a house on the site of the present building. This had a stock of 1,861 books, as well as a newsroom. It soon became clear that a more substantial service in a purpose-built building was required. The present building was designed by Henry Price, a council architect who also designed Didsbury and Chorlton libraries.

Withington library was one of the first in Manchester to have a young people’s reading room.

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Manchester city council (2017)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: Partly financed by the Carnegie UK Trust: £5,000 from a total cost of £15,500
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 30 May 1927, by the Earl of Elgin and Kincardine (Treasurer of the Carnegie UK Trust and President of the Library Association)

Photo of library today (2017):

geograph-5478958-by-Gerald-England-withington 

© Copyright Gerald England and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

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Didsbury library

Brief description

John Henry Price (city architect) was the architect of Didsbury Library, on Wilmslow Road and he described it as; ‘designed in the fifteenth century gothic style with tracery windows and emblems of Science, Knowledge, Literature, Music and Arts and Crafts in stone distributed over the building’. He also designed Chorlton library.

Awarded Grade II listing in 1974

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Manchester city council (2017)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant:
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): Saturday 15 May 1915

Photo of library today (2011):

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Photo © Gerald England (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

 

Stockport library

Brief description

The library was built in 1913-14 to designs by Bradshaw, Gass and Hope in the Edwardian Baroque style.

Initially, Carnegie offered Stockport Corporation £10,000 for the erection of a free central library. The design was put out to competition and Bradshaw & Gass submitted a design costing £14,000. The Carnegie assessor, Percy S Worthington, award the ‘premium’ to them in October 1910. As this was over budget, and Andrew Carnegie increased his offer to £15,000 on condition that the Corporation provided a further £2,000 to build a branch library in another part of the town.

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Stockport council (2017)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £15,000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known):

Photo of library today (2015):

geograph-4589582-by-dave-bevis
Photo credit: Dave Bevis  on geograph, licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

Radcliffe library

Brief description

The building occupies the original site of the first Bridge Wesleyan Chapel.  Adam Crompton Bealey bought the site and presented it to the town for the new library.

According to Nicholl’s History and Traditions of Radcliffe of 1910, ‘The building is an ornament to the town, and its interior arrangements most convenient. The reading room is well patronised by the people, and many books are taken out from its library. The institution is one of the recognised sources of culture in the town.’

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Bury council (part of Greater Manchester) (2017) [note, consultation underway into the future of the library network in Bury, and Radcliffe is on the list of possible closures – February 2017]

  • Year grant given (if known): 1902
  • Amount of grant: £5,000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 19 October 1907

Photo of library today (2010):

geograph-1668772-by-david-dixonPhoto credit: David Dixon  on geograph, licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

radcliffe-edit

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

Eccles library

Brief description

The architect was Edward Potts, and his design was in the renaissance style. The library was built on a slum clearance site in the town centre.

The ‘Carnegie Library’ as it became known was extended in 1971. In 2006, a major transformation took place as the library was incorporated into the LIFT Centre –  healthcare initiative.

Awarded Grade II listing in 1987.

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Salford city council. Now known as Eccles Gateway. (2016)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £7,500
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 19 October 1907

Photo of library today:

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Photo credit: flickr user Ben Sutherland (shared under CC licence)

Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

eccles

nb the library is almost hidden by the word Eccles!

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

Chorlton library

Brief description

Designed by Manchester City Corporation architect: Henry Price in the Edwardian Baroque style (who also designed other libraries in Manchester, including Didsbury). Became Grade II listed in 2013. The listing states: “In 1912 Henry Price’s original plan drawings for the building, which were being sent to Andrew Carnegie for approval, went down with the RMS Titanic; duplicate copies were sent later.” In c1964 an extension was added on to the south-east side and in 1983/4 some internal alterations were carried out. This latter work included inserting a floor into the dome to provide a staff room.

Current status? Still a library, operated by Manchester City Council (2017).

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £5,000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 4 November 1914, by the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Alderman McCabe.

Photo of library today (2015):

chorlton-forblog

Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

Visited?

Visited December 2015 and had long conversation with one of the members of staff, who has done a lot of work on the origins and development of the library.

Web links:

Levenshulme library

Brief description

The first brick was laid on 5 December 1903 and the library opened in 1904.

Current status: Closed in 2016 when the new Arcadia library and leisure centre opened in central Levenshulme. There are plans in preparation to develop the building into an arts and community centre.

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant:
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 1904

Photo of library today:

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Detail:

26347676721_814e5c5413_z

Old photo of library (postcard):

levenshulme

Visited?

Visited on 13 April 2016 (after it had closed, so only saw the outside).

Web links: