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Central Library and Town Hall, Birmingham DP180935

Central Library and Town Hall, Birmingham DP180935


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Additional Information

Filename: DP180935.jpg

Size: 4256 x 2832 (4.4MB)

Date: 1st October 2013

Source: Historic England

Credit: Historic England Archive.James O

Copyright Status: Copyrighted Work

Urgency (1-8) 5=normal: 5

Source: Historic England Archive

Job Title: Staff Photographer

© Historic England Archive

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Central Library and Town Hall, Birmingham DP180935

Central Library, Paradise Circus, Birmingham, West Midlands. October 2013. General view of John Madins Brutalist Central Library (now demolished) in context with the cityscape

Historic England is the public body that champions and protects England's historic places

Media ID 12990787

© Historic England Archive

Architecture City Concrete Modern Post War Urban


FEATURES IN THESE COLLECTIONS

> Architecture > Modern Architecture > Space, Hope and Brutalism

> Towns and Cities > Birmingham

> The way we were > Leisure > Libraries


EDITORS COMMENTS
This evocative photograph captures the imposing presence of Birmingham's Central Library and Town Hall, as seen in October 2013. The image, taken by James O. Davies for Historic England, showcases the architectural brilliance of John Madin's Brutalist masterpiece, which once stood proudly at Paradise Circus in the heart of the city. The Central Library, with its raw concrete exterior and bold geometric lines, is a testament to the post-war modernist movement that swept through urban planning in the mid-20th century. Its stark contrast against the more traditional Town Hall, with its ornate facade and intricate details, highlights the dynamic tension between old and new, traditional and contemporary. The concrete jungle of the cityscape surrounds the library, adding to its sense of isolation and fortress-like strength. The photograph invites us to ponder the role of such structures in our urban landscapes – monuments of a bygone era, or symbols of progress and innovation? Sadly, the Central Library, a beloved yet divisive icon of Birmingham, was demolished in 2016. This image serves as a poignant reminder of its unique character and the architectural legacy it leaves behind. The photograph also underscores the ever-evolving nature of our cities, where the old makes way for the new, and the past and future coexist in an intricate dance of change.

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