“The long-awaited £48m transformation of Manchester Central Library is now just six months from completion.
We were given an exclusive first look at how the restoration of the historic library – designed by E Vincent Harris and opened in 1934 – as it inches towards completion.
With its legions of workmen, dust and half-finished wooden structures everywhere, much of the place still looks as much like a building site as the future home to one of the country’s best stores of precious old books.
But look a little closer, and the grand vision of people like Neil MacInnes and Alan Garbutt – Manchester council‘s head of libraries and construction director respectively, two of the driving forces behind the six-year project – to create a library fit for the 21st century is slowly emerging.
This means more natural light, more air, more berths to sit down and read – and, beneath the magnificent stained glass of Shakespeare Hall, spaces for community groups and young artists to use.”