Liverpool Central Library to re-open

David McCourt

The official public re-opening of Central Library, which has been undergoing intricate restoration for more than two years, will take place on Friday 17 May.

Work on the £50m scheme began in autumn 2010 and has involved demolishing the 1950s Brown Library and the 1978 extension. There is now a new building behind the original listed historic façade, which was damaged in World War II.

In the Picton Reading Room, the intricate domed ceiling has been restored and all the timber bookcases repaired. Thousands of hours of work have also gone in to matching plaster and paint as close to the originals used when the dome was built in 1875.

Finishing touches are now being made to the main library and the children's library. External landscaping is also taking place including a new 22m long, 4.5m wide, walkway engraved with titles from world books, cinema and music. The Literary Liverpool wall is now in place and can be seen at the back of the building.

The project provides a new location for the Liverpool Record Office, which will house some of the city's most historic documents from the last 800 years, such as the original 1207 charter, in purpose built, secure, climate controlled storage.

There will be IT facilities allowing young people to access and play music and games, and wi-fi throughout the building.

Other new additions include a new entrance to the main library, a conservation studio, a rooftop terrace with views across the city and improved facilities including meeting rooms and a café.

Mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Joe Anderson, said: "Central Library is the final piece in the William Brown Street restoration jigsaw, and it's hugely exciting to know that in a matter of months it will be open to the public once again."

Liverpool Central Library design

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What a great resource for the city!

By Northerner