Cradley Heath library

Brief description

The architects were Herbert Wills and John Anderson. A foundation stone is inscribed: “This library was the gift of Andrew Carnegie Esq ….”.

Awarded Grade II listing in 1987.

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Sandwell libraries (2017)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant:
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): November 1909, by Mr Thomas Crew

Photo of library today (2013):

geograph-3720820-by-stephen-rogersonPhoto credit: Stephen Rogerson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

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Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

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Blackheath library

Brief description

This small, compact Carnegie library was built in 1909 and is situated on the outskirts of Blackheath town centre.

Architects: Herbert Wills and John Anderson, and their design was in the Edwardian Baroque style. The builder was William Cooper. The result of a competition for 3 Carnegie libraries to serve the outer suburbs of Birmingham – this small elegant solution cost less than £2,000 (Builder, 27 Feb 1909) Owned at that time by Rowley Regis urban district council. Includes an octagonal reading room with domed lantern.

In c.1949 the interior of the library was remodelled with the addition of a children’s section whilst the ladies’ room became a reading room and the news room a reference room. Further internal remodelling took place in c.1959 when the children’s section and reference room were removed and the office reduced in size to create increased circulation space in the foyer for the addition of a new lending desk; the reading room also changed use to accommodate the children’s section.

Awarded Grade II listing in 2012.

Current status: Closed as a public library in 2011, the author of the article below states that the building was up for sale. Current status unknown (2017)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £1,696
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 15 September 1909, by Mr Thomas Crew

Photo of library today:

No free to use images traced yet

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Old photo of library (postcard):

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Wednesbury library

Brief description

Wednesbury Library is highly unusual and possibly unique as a Carnegie library in that Carnegie normally funded libraries where there wasn’t one already, but Wednesbury’s was to replace an existing one. According to their plaque this was out of gratitude because it was at Wednesbury that Andrew Carnegie first saw the iron-works process that he took to America to make his fortune.

Although funding was offered in 1904, it was difficult to find a site, and it was not until December 1906, when the Mayor and Mayoress, Mr. and Mrs. Handley, generously gave a suitable piece of land on the corner of Walsall Street, and Hollies Drive to the town, that construction could begin.

Several sets of plans were submitted by various architects, which were assessed by Mr. Guy Dawber, President of the Royal Institute of British Architects. The chosen design had been submitted by Crouch, Butler, & Savage of Birmingham, who became the architects for the new building. The contract for building the new library was given to Mr. T. Elvins of Hockley, Birmingham.

Awarded Grade II listing in 1987.

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Sandwell libraries (2017)

  • Year grant given (if known): 1904
  • Amount of grant: £5,000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 28 October 1908, by the Mayor, Alderman John Handley, almost a year to the day (22 October 1907) that he had laid the foundation stone.

Photo of library today (2013):

wednesbury-geograph-3540083-by-mike-faherty

Photo credit: Mike Faherty and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

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Old photo of library (postcard):

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Kings Norton

Brief description

Built next to the Post Office in 1906. The foundation stone was laid by Councillor Edwin Shephard. The building was designed by Benjamin Bower, and built by Mr Jackson. It cost £1,000.

The library was enlarged in 1939.

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

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant:
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): August 1906

Photo of library today (2013):

kingsnorton-flickrPhoto by flickr user Elliott Brown (shared under cc licence)

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Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

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Stourbridge library

Brief description

Built during 1903-4 and extended 1908-9. Designed by Frederick Woodward, Netherlandish Renaissance style. Isaac Nash laid the foundation stone in February 1904.

Carnegie contributed £3,000 to the library’s foundation and a further £700 to the 1908 newsroom extension.

Became Stourbridge College of Art.

Awarded Grade II listing in 1989, largely for its art nouveau stained glass.

Current status: Possibly converted to apartments – ref on (undated) blog  (2017)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £3000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known):

Photo of library today (2015):

geograph-4349356-by-stephen-craven

From Geograph© Copyright Stephen Craven and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

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Old photo of library (postcard):

stourbridge

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Wolverhampton library

Brief description

Built 1900-1902. Designed by HT Hare, in ‘Free Renaissance’ style.

Note: Thomas Graham, who founded the Express and Star newspaper, was from Dunfermline (like Carnegie) and the 2 became friends. Graham persuaded Carnegie to buy the newspaper in 1882.

Awarded Grade II listing in 1992

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

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant:
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 1902

Photo of library today (2012):

geograph-2811402-by-alan-murray-rust

From Geograph  © Copyright Alan Murray-Rust and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

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Old photo of library (postcard):

wolverhampton

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Selly Oak library

Brief description

The architect was John P Osborne, and the building contractor was George Webb. The foundation stone was laid on 1 August 1905. [Exactly the same people, and timing, as the library in Stirchley] nb the listings entry says the building opened on 1 August 1905…..

Awarded Grade II listing in 2011

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Birmingham council (2016)

  • Year grant given (if known): June 1902
  • Amount of grant: £3,000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 23 June 1906, by Thomas Gibbins (who donated the site).

Photo of library today (2009):

4206078447_99c4f71080_z

Photo credit: flickr user Elliott Brown, shared under cc licence

Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet, but the image below appears in wikimedia:

selly_oak_free_library

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