From Alan Clawley – Secretary, Friends of the Central Library
The World Monuments Fund (WMF) has included Birmingham Central Library in its 2012 Watch List of cultural heritage sites around the world that are facing an uncertain future and need protection.
This is the result of a submission by the Twentieth Century Society that also included Preston Bus Station and London’s South Bank Centre citing the three buildings as outstanding examples of the late modernist style of Brutalism, an underrated part of the UK’s post-war architectural heritage.
The owners of the Library, Birmingham City Council, have so far refused to acknowledge that the building, designed by John Madin and opened in 1974, has any architectural merit or even to admit that it has as many admirers as detractors.
Friends of the Central Library has been campaigning since 2007 to retain the building and has recently written to Councillor Sir Albert Bore to ascertain the latest position of the Labour Group regarding its architectural merit and its long-term future.