Library Walk used to be of my favourite locations in Manchester. It was a haven of peace from the noise of the city, an architectural gem created in the empty space between the Central Library and the Town Hall Extension, both designed by E Vincent Harris in the 1930s.The Central Library is my favourite building in Manchester. I also love the town hall extension, a fabulous mix of traditional and modern.
There was 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. Manchester City Council had already proposed and approved planning permission to build the structure.
In March 2015 the news came through that the planning inspector had supported the Council’s decision. The campaign to remove the glass structure will continue.