Darwen Library and Theatre*
1908 – Lancashire, England. Lat/Long 53.696667 -2.465833
Opened by Carnegie, Darwen commands the street corner and using a familiar “drum” as an entrance lobby, it brings visitors to the reception desk. Grand circular entrance spaces like this with decorative domes are found in many other Carnegie libraries such as King’s Lynn (1905), St Anne’s on Sea (1906), Bridgwater (1906), Newton-le-Willows (1909) and Didsbury (1915). The buildings’ position on the windy hill secures its access to natural light and ventilation. The interior, although no longer incorporating a theatre, is altered very little and retains many of its original fixtures and fittings. These include glazed screens designed to enable the central librarian’s desk to maintain its commanding view of all spaces.
Architects: Fred Harrison & Charles Spencer Haywood of Accrington.
Heritage designation: LG II , 2017. Purpose built library; Carnegie grant: £11,300 2/12/1904, 20/9/1905, 8/6/1908, 9/1/1907. Open library, council managed.