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#275092 - 11th Dec 2008 9:47am Birkenhead Central Library 1909
bert1 Offline

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Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7850
Loc: tranmere
The beautiful building of architectural merit was knocked down in 1929 to make way for the Birkenhead tunnel entrance. The decision was made by the Mersey joint tunnel committee even though there were many vigorous protests. Compensation of £55,000 was paid which allowed the new library to be built in Borough Rd.


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#275093 - 11th Dec 2008 10:07am Re: Birkenhead Central Library 1909 [Re: bert1]
BMW Joe Offline
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Registered: 30th Apr 2006
Posts: 12369
Loc: Birkenhead
Any idea where it was exactly?
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#275094 - 11th Dec 2008 10:10am Re: Birkenhead Central Library 1909 [Re: bert1]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


I maybe wrong (nothing new there then), but I thought the new/present library on Borough Road was funded by the Carnegie Trust/Foundation. Presume the £55k was additional.

You are quite right Bert, judging from the photograph, the original building did look very pleasing to the eye.

Keep the info. coming !

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#275102 - 11th Dec 2008 10:51am Re: Birkenhead Central Library 1909 [Re: BMW Joe]
bert1 Offline

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Registered: 27th Nov 2008
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Loc: tranmere
Joe It was in Market Square, which must have taken in the Market st end of the old Market and maybe around to the tunnel entrance
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#275106 - 11th Dec 2008 11:16am Re: Birkenhead Central Library 1909 [Re: ]
bert1 Offline

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Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7850
Loc: tranmere
Andrew Carnegie agreed to build the Central Library which opened in 1909 at a cost of £15,000.
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#275107 - 11th Dec 2008 11:36am Re: Birkenhead Central Library 1909 [Re: bert1]
chriskay Offline
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Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Here's a map showing its location, marked in red. In the picture in the first post, you can see the old market hall in the background at the left.
As far as the £55,000 is concerned, this is worth today £2.7m using RPI or £10.2m using average earnings, so I guess this was the complete cost of the new building; after all, Mr.Carnegie had already paid once!
As an aside, the original library was only one of about 2,500 funded by Carnegie worldwide.

Cheers, Chris.


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2008-12-11 10-55-44_0172.jpg




Edited by chriskay (11th Dec 2008 1:25pm)
Edit Reason: Duplicated info.
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#275111 - 11th Dec 2008 12:49pm Re: Birkenhead Central Library 1909 [Re: chriskay]
BMW Joe Offline
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Registered: 30th Apr 2006
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Originally Posted By: chriskay
In the picture in the first post, you can see the old market hall in the background at the left.

Thought so, thanks Chris smile
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#275119 - 11th Dec 2008 1:37pm Re: Birkenhead Central Library 1909 [Re: chriskay]
bert1 Offline

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Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7850
Loc: tranmere
The information i have that goes with the 1909 library pic, says its in Market Square. On the map i have posted, dated 1858 the Market Sq is by the First Town Hall which is in Market Street.At the top of the map is the site of the present Town Hall.


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#275134 - 11th Dec 2008 3:01pm Re: Birkenhead Central Library 1909 [Re: bert1]
chriskay Offline
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Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Hi, Bert; looks as if we have different info. Here's the 1909 Ordnance Survey map, which shows the Carnegie library, named. Also, in your pic. that's definitely the old market behind it. There was another library, 2 buildings down from the old Town Hall on your map, on Hamilton St. This is labelled "Free Library" on my second map (unfortunately my map is on 2 sides). I suspect the Free library closed with the opening of the Carnegie. Where's your info. from?

Cheers, Chris.


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Carnegie library.jpg

Free library.jpg


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#275145 - 11th Dec 2008 3:24pm Re: Birkenhead Central Library 1909 [Re: chriskay]
bert1 Offline

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Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7850
Loc: tranmere
Hi Chris. Thats good enough for me, Just come off wikipedia and they say the 1909 library was in Albion St, but didn't say which end, as you know Albion St runs down to Market Sq, I'll settle for your map location. thank you.
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Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
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#275159 - 11th Dec 2008 4:43pm Re: Birkenhead Central Library 1909 [Re: bert1]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Hi, Bert; yes, I've had duff info. from Wikipedia before. Yes, Albion St. runs the length of the old market, from Market St. to Market Place South. Here's a modern aerial view with where the Carnegie library was, marked in yellow.


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2008-12-11 16-37-06_0177.jpg


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#275164 - 11th Dec 2008 5:05pm Re: Birkenhead Central Library 1909 [Re: chriskay]
uptoncx Offline
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Registered: 24th May 2008
Posts: 683
Loc: Wirral
The following is from the book produced by the County Borough of Birkenhead in 1974:

By 1877 the Libraries Department had already occupied three different premises. In 1856 a reading room was opened in Price Street and the town could boast that it was the first unincorporated Borough to take advantage of the 1850 Public Libraries Act. In May 1857 the books were removed to rooms over the new Post Office in Conway Street. By 1861, 130,000 visitors a year were reported, of whom 80,000 were noted as being of the 'working class'. Under this kind of pressure the libraries committee were forced to search for larger accom­modation; a site was found in Hamilton Street and by April 1864 the town's first purpose built library was in use.

The revenue which was available from the extension of the boundaries in 1877 led to the purchase of many additional books. With the increased use made of the library, the growing population and the distance which residents in the newly incorporated districts had to travel to the library, the committee was obliged to examine the possibilities of opening branch libraries on the outskirts of the town. In 1894, North Branch Library, situated at the junction of Pensby Street and Price Street, and the South Branch in Grove Road, Rock Ferry were opened.

Ten years later with the undoubted success of the branches and the all too obvious inadequacies of the Central Library, the committee considered an approach to Andrew Carnegie, benefactor of many public libraries throughout the United Kingdom. He agreed to build a new Central Library at a cost of £15,000 and rebuild the two branches.

By 1909 all three buildings had been opened. The Central Library was generally recognized as being of outstanding merit architecturally, housing a lending, reference and children's department as well as a Reading Room and a Lecture Hall.

With the removal of the restriction of the Penny Rate in 1919 and the intro­duction of open access for readers in 1926 the Library Committee could view the future with assurance.

However, hopes of further progress were to be shattered by the decision of the powerful Mersey Joint Tunnel Committee to acquire the land the library stood on for the entrance to the new road Tunnel. Despite many vigorous protests, in 1929 the Library began to move its lending stock back to the 1864 Central Library building, while the reference stock was put in storage for five years in a disused canteen rented from Lairds.

Compensation worth £55,000 allowed for an ambitious new building and on 18July 1934 King George V drove through the new Mersey Tunnel to open the new central library.



The centre building in the picture above is the 1864 library, after the library left it was used as a museum upto 1928 when the Williamson Art Gallery was opened.




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#275253 - 11th Dec 2008 10:26pm Re: Birkenhead Central Library 1909 [Re: uptoncx]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7850
Loc: tranmere
Hi Upton, Great photo, The building that Mossop occupies was during the 60s and 70s a car showroom and car repairs called Geoffreys.The show room was road level and repair part was down a ramp in a large basement. Above the showroom was a club called The Starboard Light. I bought a few cars there in the 70s. Where the library was, that was just a field and then the Bank. I don't know if anything was built on the site of the library after the library came down.


Edited by bert1 (11th Dec 2008 10:26pm)
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Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
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#307062 - 5th Apr 2009 9:11pm Re: Birkenhead Central Library 1909 [Re: bert1]
Derby Offline
Beginner

Registered: 5th Apr 2009
Posts: 6
Loc: Canada
I remember the public library on Borough Road being a beautiful building and not the sorry dirty sight it was when visiting in 2007. Does no-one care that it`s windows are filthy or the that it is in a sad state.

Derby

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#307075 - 5th Apr 2009 9:35pm Re: Birkenhead Central Library 1909 [Re: Derby]
jimbob Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1535
Loc: Birkenhead
its are council, they believe in leaving old building to get in that bad a state of repair that they can then say we will have to knock it down as it will now cost to much to fix
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