Brutal Birmingham end


After years of fighting to save what could be called the modernist soul of Birmingham and just before what would have been the 41st anniversary of it's official opening on January 12th the former Birmingham Central Library is being demolished, http://birminghamcentral.blogspot.com/2014/01/40-not-out-yet-birmingham-central.html.  Work to strip out the interior took place earlier this year and demolition of the ground floor and former Paradise Forum retail units in the preceding weeks but the chipping away of the exterior began on Monday 17 December, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/467e9f40-a24f-11e5-8d70-42b68cfae6e4.html#axzz3ucJFPAFI

A high reach excavator has been chipping away at the exterior of the building by Chamberlain Square to make way for the £500m Paradise regeneration project, http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/business/commercial-property/major-demolition-works-central-library-10587748

In January 2014 I reviewed a short book of essays that was titled, Build and Destroy, and as I noted there Birmingham is a city that "never stops building and destroying", http://birminghamcentral.blogspot.com/2014/01/built-destroyed-and-rebuilt-build-and.html  I'm openly a lover of both the new Mecannoo Library of Birmingham and Madin's brutalist ziggurat but the story here of the demolition and the building of the new is both part of the shared history of living in the transient city but also the loss of a city that has destroyed it's past only to look back later and generations regret it.  It is perhaps difficult to stomach this demolition when, much as the former library has been loathed and liked in equal measure, we've seen what transformation is possible with the regeneration of the 1960s New Street Station.  The transformation of the station from urban block to porous hub which has at it's heart a new civic square with a concourse that acts as both it's role as concourse but also as meeting place for all of Birmingham.

The following photo and plan of the library are taken from my January 2014 blog post, http://birminghamcentral.blogspot.com/2014/01/40-not-out-yet-birmingham-central.html.  The photos below it sadly show the demolition work that has taken place so far.










Comments

matt said…
This Brutal monolith was an important part of the history of this city, it was unique and soulful.
jonathanrjones said…
So sorry to see this beautiful building demolished.

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