“(The Madin Library) is an iconic building of the 70s. We need to keep examples of the best architecture of every era”, said Jen, who was lobbying councillors going into the Council House reception entrance.
On December 1st, as councillors arrived for the first meeting with John Clancy, the new leader of Birmingham city council, many gave their views for and against the retention and reuse of the Madin Library’s ‘ziggurat’ (pictured in leaflet) to campaigners at three entrances to the Council House.
A reporter present placed an account on the BBC website.
Councillors were offered a copy of the leaflet designed by Joe (right), calling for the building to be given an alternative use.
Alan Clawley, who has written books about the library and its local architect John Madin, hopes that it can still be saved:
“Although we previously held a wake for it, there is still some life in the building”. A Certificate of Immunity from Listing runs out in January and campaigners will apply to have the building listed.
The campaign ended with an address by Mary Keating (below left), who pointed out that it was “internationally” significant, as the petition she presented at the Council House had been signed by people all over the world. She described the 1974 structure as a “Marmite building”, either loved or loathed, but insisted that either way it must be saved because of its importance.
Many present expressed confidence in the new council’s leader’s proposed policies and look forward to an exchange of views with him in due course. Ms Keating held up a copy of an open letter to Cllr Clancy on the subject.
Mary continued: “The site can be developed with the Library as the centrepiece. The alternative development plan, that retains the Library, does not compromise the new road layout, and is comparable in density and floorspace to the Argent masterplan. . .
“Demolition has begun around the edges of the Library, our mission is to save the main structure the iconic Ziggurat. The Council have said on their website that the demolition of the main structure will not commence until Spring 2016. Time to apply and process a listing application that will be made on the 11th January 2016” .
Alan Clawley (above right), who has been campaigning to save the Library since 2002, is publishing ‘The Library Story’, which will be launched on the 18th December, and tells the story of the protracted campaign. If you would like to reserve a copy of the book or support the campaign contact Mary Keating at Brutiful2015@gmail.com.
Mary ended: “I think we now have the support of a new generation of people in Birmingham who love the building and have grown up with it”.
Anna Douglas, chair of the West Midlands branch of the 20th Century Society, has given ongoing support and sent photographs taken on Dec 1st, from which the pictures of Mary, Alan and Joe were clipped.
For more information go to https://www.facebook.com/Save-The-Birmingham-Central-Library-139223999758814/timeline/