Library must be kept intact

THE Huntingdon and Godmanchester Civic Society has told English Heritage that Huntingdon library should be listed, rather than replaced by Cambridgeshire County Council. Richard Meredith, secretary of the civic society, said the building was unique in bot

THE Huntingdon and Godmanchester Civic Society has told English Heritage that Huntingdon library should be listed, rather than replaced by Cambridgeshire County Council.

Richard Meredith, secretary of the civic society, said the building was unique in both design and, for Huntingdon, use of building materials.

"The polygon design is not found in any other modern building in Huntingdonshire.

"The angle brickwork was created for this project. It is unique work in Stamford grey brick and cannot be replicated today," he told the conservation body.

"The circular interior space is reminiscent of the classically-designed Reading Rooms of the former British Library, the Bodleian Library, in Oxford, and Manchester City Library. The roof light is strongly reminiscent of the great lantern in Ely Cathedral."

Mr Meredith added that the library, completed in September 1971, "is not an anonymous building. It is as visible within the townscape as the mediaeval churches, Cromwell Museum, the 18th century Town Hall and the mid-19th century Commemoration Hall."

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He has handed 260 letters of protest to Huntingdonshire District Council planners.

Cambridgeshire County Council, which wants to replace the library with a high-quality modern building - as well as providing a new, purpose-built home for the historic records of the former county of Huntingdonshire - has pledged to oppose the listing proposal.

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