Library Walk 2: Direct Action

My most read post at Bagging Area this week has been the one about Manchester City Council’s plans to despoil library walk, blocking it off with gates and a glass box. Unlike me, who just sits and types and moans, Manchester Modernist Society are doing something about it and more importantly YOU CAN TOO. You need to write a letter. An actual letter, on paper with a pen and post it too, costing you 60 pence for a first class stamp, but I think it’s worth it. Because a) they shouldn’t be able to block off a public right of way b) they shouldn’t be able to spoil two Grade II listed buildings, a much loved feature of our city centre for eighty years and c) they are numpties for even thinking it was a good idea. Details are here. We can oppose the stopping up order, triggering a legal review by central government. You don’t even need to be a resident of Manchester. But you do need to be quick- all letters must be received by Friday 28th February. Pens out people! Save beautiful architecture and fight the power, fight the powers that be!

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Library Walk

This picture shows library walk in central Manchester, a curving space between the Central Reference Library (on the right) and the Town Hall extension (on the left). It is a beautiful space as well as a handy cut through from St Peter’s Square to Albert Square. Photographs of it have been printed on postcards and used on websites promoting Manchester city centre and its architecture.

So it beggars belief that the City Council and some fuckwit architects would decide to fill the space in. Currently under construction is a glazed box to link the two buildings and a set of gates at the Albert Square end, as illustrated below.

Various groups are complaining about this piece of vandalism, including the Manchester Modernist Society. Sir Richard Leese, the chair of Manchester City Council and leader of the Labour group, recently commented on Twitter that he couldn’t see what the fuss was about, library walk was ‘just the space between two buildings’. Philistine and idiot. By this logic Trafalgar Square is just the space between Whitehall and The National Gallery, the Mediterranean is merely the space between southern Europe and north Africa, and the Grand Canyon is just a gap between two cliffs in Arizona. All would be much better off filled in with crappily constructed glass boxes and gated off.

As a cleanser after  all that idiocy and sheer wrongness here is Allen Wayne and two minutes of r ‘n’ b brilliance, a song which became a Northern Soul favourite.

Chills And Fever