Middlesbrough Central Library*

1912 – Middlesbrough, England.  Lat/Long 54.574383 -1.233672

Middlesbrough has a formality and a stature that is greater than any other Carnegie Library in England. Its urban presence facing Victoria (now Central) Square in front of it, its long façade and barrel-vaulted reading room borrow from the precedents of Henri Labrouste’s Bibliothèque Ste Geneviève in Paris (1851) and McKim Meade and White’s Boston Public Library (1895). The quality of materials and craftsmanship reflects the prosperity of the town when it was built. It was built of “Pately Bridgestone with Leicestershire red facing bricks and Precely green slates. The staircase and its wall-linings will be in white and green marble. The reference room is to be finished in oak, with decorative fibrous plaster ceiling”[i]. The reference room chairs all have monogrammed fretwork stretchers denoting that they belong to “MPL”.

[i] The British Architect 4.3.10 p.148

Architect: Sir Thomas Edwin Cooper of London.

Heritage designation: LG II, 1974. Purpose built library; Carnegie grant: £15,000 08/01/1908.   Open library, council managed.

[i] The British Architect 4.3.10 p.148

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