Bethnal Green library

Brief description

The original architect in 1896 was James Tolley. Building converted by borough architect A.E.Darby. History (taken from the listing entry): The Metropolitan Borough of Bethnal Green did not pass the Public Library Act until 1913, subsequently preparing plans for a new library by the borough engineer and surveyor A.E. Darby in 1915. However, WWI intervened and the prohibitive rise in building costs afterwards resulted in their constructing instead a temporary institution in 1919. When soon afterwards deciding to undertake a permanent institution, the borough purchased part of the Bethnal House Asylum Estate, the former male wing that had been built in 1896. A.E. Darby instead designed the conversion of what was a much larger facility, including an Adult Lending, Reference and Children’s libraries, as well as a Lecture Hall and Newsroom. It cost £36,000 and was built by Messrs. Patman and Fotheringham, with G.W. Hammer & Co. supplying the furniture.

Funding awarded by the Carnegie UK Trust.

Awarded Grade II listing in 2005. Listing describes it as “Late Victorian Classical exterior with inter-war library interior in the mid-C18 Adam-inspired style” and mentions “4 plaster medallions in curved niche behind colonnade (Richard Wagner, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, and William Morris) commemorate interesting choice of cultural heroes.”

Refurbished in 2015.

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

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant:
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 13 October 1922, the the Mayor, Councillor JJ Vaughan

Photo of library today (2012):

6952322595_435d897953_z

Thanks to flickr user Tom Bastin (shared under cc licence)

Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

Advertisements

Cubitt Town library

Brief description

aka Isle of Dogs library. The architect was C Harrold Norton. The site in Cubitt Town was acquired by Lady Margaret Charteris and the builders were Messrs Watts, Johnson & Company. The library facilities were on the ground floor, with a caretaker’s flat above. Most of the ceiling in the lending department fell to the floor around 1912, and the building suffered some bomb damage during WWII. The newspaper room to the right was slightly altered and a community hall was added to this side in the 1962

Awarded Grade II listing in 2006

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Tower Hamlets (2017)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £15,000 for 2 libraries: this one and one in Bromley-by-Bow. This library cost £6,805 13s 10d in total
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 14 January 1905, by local politician Will Crooks MP

Photo of library today (2005):

geograph-080855-by-Philip-Talmage

Photo credit: Philip Talmage 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: