The Friends of Library Walk want to save this special place from the council’s proposals to gate and glaze it. We feel the scheme is unnecessary and a waste of money. We oppose the privatisation of public space and want to protect a much loved right of way!
Last chance for Library Walk – Friends appeal for support at Thursday’s planning meeting
The fate of one of Manchester’s most unusual walkways, Library Walk off St. Peter’s Square, will be decided at a meeting of Manchester City Council’s Planning Committee on Thursday afternoon (2.00pm, 25 October, 2012). The meeting follows special debates at meetings of the council’s Executive Committee and Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee on its plans to gate and glaze the passage, as well as a well-attended public celebration event last month organised by the Friends of Library Walk.
There are several events coming up in the next few weeks – check it out here
PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION TO ASK MANCHESTER PLANNING DEPT TO REFUSE PLANNING PERMISSION
Library Walk is one of Manchester’s cultural gems. It was designed by the celebrated architect E Vincent Harris to complement Central library and the Town Hall Extension, both Grade-II* listed buildings. Library Walk is not an accidental space, but one designed to be that way. It is a space which is highly regarded by the general public and architectural experts alike as an intrinsic part of the heritage value of the buildings on either side.
We all use the walkway because of how wonderful it is! Sadly at present you can’t walk through it, as renovation work is being carried out to the Library and Town Hall, but this website will hopefully help you imagine being there.
Library Walk was also voted as one of Manchester’s Happy Places in 2006 on BBC website!
The article below gives a really good introduction to why we think Library Walk is such an important architectural, historical and cultural gem to Manchester’s urban environment. It has been takne from an article written by Aiden O’Rourke on 2010-04-11.
Library Walk is one of Manchester’s best loved corners, a curved passageway built in the 1930s linking St Peters Square and Mount Street, near Albert Square. It runs between the Central Library and the Town Hall Extension, both designed and built in the 1930s by architect E Vincent Harris.
Library Walk is a pedestrian passageway in Manchester city centre, linking Saint Peter’s Square to the east with Mount Street, near Albert Square to the west. Following the curving centreline of Library Walk I would estimate it to be to be around 120 yards long.
Its unique curved shape is formed by the interlocking profiles of two of Manchester’s mostmagnificent civic buildings: The Central Library to the south and the Town Hall Extension to the north. The Central Library was constructed in the early 1930s and opened in 1934. The Town Hall Extension was constructed in the mid-1930s and opened in 1938. Both buildings were designed by the architect E Vincent Harris.
Library Walk only came into existence on completion of the Town Hall Extension in 1937 and is so is a relatively new addition to Manchester city centre.
Due to its curving path, and the ravine-like effect of the two tall 20th century buildings on either side, with their complementary styles of architecture, it must be one of the most interesting passageways in any British city.
The unique character of Library Walk
From many perspectives its character is unique: Due to its curving profile, it’s not possible to see from one end of Library Walk to the other. Only when you are half way along can you look around and see Mount Street behind you and St Peters Square straight ahead, or vice versa.
Due to the movement of the sun, the appearance of Library Walk alters throughout the day. It is situated on the northern side of the Central Library and so not much direct daylight falls on it. The changing pattern of shadows and light reflected off the sides of buildings, or from windows, has a big effect on the character of Library Walk. The colour of the stonework varies according to whether the weather conditions are wet or dry.
Another unique aspect of Library Walk is its sound profile. Footsteps echo off the exterior walls, and the hum of traffic as well as the ‘toot toot’ of Metrolink trams is echoed along the passageway from one end to the other.
Library Walk is familiar to thousands of people in Manchester city centre who for decades have been walking back and forth along its curving path at all times of the day and also at night in all seasons and weather conditions.
A welcome respite from city life
It’s one of the few corners of Manchester where you can gain respite from many of the often annoying aspects of contemporary British city life, such as traffic congestion, privatised buses, SUVs and stretch limos, double yellow lines, advertisement hoardings and much more.
It’s one of the best loved and most enduring features of Manchester city centre and unchanging corner of a 1930s civic vision of Manchester that remained largely unbuilt.