There’s nowhere else quite like Library Walk. I’ve photographed it many times, fascinated by the shapes and textures of the architecture, the play of light and shadow. The echo of footsteps is fascinating too, though you can’t photograph that! Imagine my reaction when I saw plans for a ‘glazed link’ to be inserted into Library Walk. It was closed in 2011 for the renovation of the library. Many people were of the same opinion. They signed a petition and wrote letters of protest, leading to a Public Inquiry.
It’s important to note that the Public Inquiry was about the Stopping Up order. Should the right of way be abolished or maintained. If the right of way is maintained, then the glass structure is literally in the way and a solution will have to be found.
It has already been put up, though is not quite complete. The council say it will improve access and encourage more people to visit both buildings. Objectors say the ‘pod’ spoils Library Walk and the right of way should not be lost. I attended the public inquiry which took place at the town hall over six days in September and November. The decision will follow some time in the new year. I sincerely hope Library Walk reopens looking as it did from 1937 to 2011. If not, then one of Manchester’s most precious and unique features will have been ruined.