The Friends of the Library grieve not only for the loss of a great and memorable building but for the cultural reputation of the city of Birmingham. 

death notice escalator


We are sorry to announce the premature death of Birmingham Central Library at the early age of 41.

Created by John Madin and his colleagues, it began life as Europe’s finest municipal library in 1974 when it was opened by Harold Wilson, Leader of the Opposition, who went on to become Prime Minister for the second term later that year.

Despite growing support here and around the world, the Central Library lost the battle to survive in the face of wilful neglect by Birmingham City Council, the unbending aspirations of Argent PLC and its opponents who shared Prince Charles’ visceral dislike of its uncompromising appearance.

death notice candleTo celebrate its short life a Wake will be held in Chamberlain Square starting at 11 am on Saturday 31st January 2015. Warm clothes, a candle, food and drink are advisable.

death notice exterior broad street

New readers unfamiliar with the building may wish to read Andy Foster’s 2009 account in Building, a leading industry publication.