Birmingham Central Library timeline
- 14 December 2015
- From the section Birmingham & Black Country
After 40 years, Birmingham Central Library closed to the public on 29 June 2013, ahead of the opening of a new £190m library.
The old library officially opened in 1974 and was once described by Prince Charles as looking like "a place where books are incinerated, not kept".
Three libraries have stood on the site since 1865. Now, demolition work has begun to make way for the Paradise Circus development.
The new library in Centenary Square was designed by Dutch architects Mecanoo and opened on 3 September 2013.
September 1865 - Birmingham's first public library opened to great acclaim
January 1879 - Fire significantly damaged the building and contents
June 1882 - A rebuilt library reopened along with new donations
1938 - The council approved the building of a new library but war postponed the plans
1960 - The Birmingham Mail reported the library was struggling to look after 750,000 books in a building designed to hold 30,000
June 1970 - The foundation stone of a new library was laid on the same site as the old one
Mid 1973 - The new building, designed by Birmingham's John Madin, was ready and in use
January 1974 - The library was officially opened by the Prime Minister Harold Wilson
Early 2000 - The council identified major problems with the 1970s building
September 2006 - Centenary Square was revealed as the location for the new library
August 2008 - Architects Mecanoo were appointed
April 2009 - The new Library of Birmingham design was revealed
November 2009 - The Culture and Tourism Minister decided not to give the old Central Library listed status
December 2012 - Demolition of the old Central Library was agreed by the council
June 2013 - The library closes to readers with more than 400,000 books being transferred
August 2013 - The reception at the old Central Library will close
September 2013 - The new £190m Library of Birmingham opened
December 2015 - Demolition work began on Birmingham Central Library