Irreplaceable Baroque library under attack from vandals, thieves and arsonists
The former Crumpsall and Cheetham District Library stopped lending books back in 1974, after which it was used as a community centre. It is now fenced in and boarded up, with water seeping in through the roof.
'This wonderful Edwardian Baroque library should be a focal point for Cheetham. But instead of attracting a community use its visible neglect only draws in thieves, vandals and even arsonists. In the short term it desperately needs to be made secure and watertight', said Dr Ian Dungavell, Director of the Victorian Society.
It was designed by the City Architect, Henry Price and is composed of two symmetrical wings carrying four cartouches inscribed with the names of Scott, Milton, Shakespeare and Dickens. Inside the walls are peeling and pigeons have left their destructive mark, though many original features still remain, albeit in a bad state.
The former library is now privately owned and the Council has requested that a full structural survey is carried out. This building sits at the heart of the community and is crying out for a new use.