Historic Old Library building on Queen’s Square to be sold off by Wrexham Council
Wrexham Council is planning to sell off a historic building in Wrexham town centre, the Old Library building to the right on the above picture.
The building dates from 1907 having been built as a library and lecture hall and is now Grade II listed. Wrexham Council took occupation in the early 1970’s and have used it ever since.
The Council’s history page explains, “An appeal to the Scottish-American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie resulted in a grant of £4,000 to build and £300 to furnish a new library. The Mayoress, Mrs Birkett Evans, laid the foundation stone on 1 January 1906 and Sir Foster Cunliffe of Acton Hall opened the new Library in Queens Square on 15 February 1907.”
“More than 100 architects submitted plans for the design of the new library: the successful architect was Vernon Hodge of Teddington (London). The building was constructed of Cefn stone and Ruabon terracotta facing brick. The front roof was covered with Westmoreland slate and the back with Bangor slates.”
The role of the building during World War II is also explained, “In 1939, Wrexham received 9,600 children who were evacuated from Merseyside: as a consequence, the Library received 500 juvenile and 700 adult books from Liverpool Library. The Blackout also led to an increase in reading and the number of library borrowers increased dramatically. Part of the Library was taken over by the Food Office and an Information Bureau.”
Last month we highlighted a line buried in a council report that stated the Council’s Datacentre migration project will see IT systems move to the new Crown Buildings with from both Lambpit Street offices as well as the Old Library so it can be ‘vacated’.
In a new information report to councillors around the ongoing accommodation review taking place by Wrexham Council the sell off of the Old Library is confirmed: “To ensure OAR achieves its aim of vacating and handover of Lord Street by December 2022, Phase 4 of OAR will be required to be delivered over the next 2 years and will focus on delivery of refurbishment of Lambpit Street, dilapidation works at Lord Street and the sale of the Old Library.”
Intriguingly the report also notes “Phase 5 (Guildhall) will follow in 2023/24” with no details to what that could mean in terms of refurbishing the building.
For those who follow us on Instagram, you will have seen a post from August that looked at the history of the Guildhall:
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