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Old Poplar Library
45 Gillender Street
London
E14 6RN
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History > 1906: the opening

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Metropolitan Borough of Poplar.
An Account of the New Public Library at Brunswick Road, Poplar, in Commemoration of a Reception given by HIS WORSHIP THE MAYOR (J. Z. Cahill, Esq., J.P.), On JUNE 13, 1906, to celebrate the opening
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Renaissance treatment of the facadeThe style of Architecture, which has been adopted, is a free treatment of Renaissance. The front block built of Portland Stone (Whitbed), and the roof is covered with green Westmoreland Slates. The back portion is built of London Stock bricks and has flat roofs and large lantern lights constricted of steel in concrete and covered with Val-de-Travers Asphalte.

Staircases and floors throughout are of concrete in steel, and the latter are covered with pitch pine blocks and mosaic. The woodwork generally is of pitch pine and teak. The internal faces of walls are in gauged plaster with keene's cement dados, the whole being distempered in various tints. Generally the construction is Fireproof throughout. The arrangement of the rooms has been based upon plans suggested by the Borough Librarian, Mr. H. Rowlatt. Sketch plans, prepared by Mr. Harley Heckford, A.M.I.C.E., the Borough Surveyor, were submitted to the competing architects, and the planning throughout affords excellent supervision and economy in working.

The following is the accommodation provided:

Basement.-Book Store, 48 ft. by I4 ft. ; Staff Retiring Room, etc., 16ft. by 10ft.; Heating Chamber, 21ft. by 10ft. Store Rooms, Lift to Assistant Librarian's Quarters, etc. Ground Floor. -Principal entrance and Vestibule, placed at the South end of building, lead to a lofty Hall, 24 ft. by 10 ft. 6 in.

To the left of this is the Lending Department, 48 ft. 6 in. by 30 ft. 6 in. inclusive of a Lobby for Borrowers. Communicating direct with the Hall is the News Room, 40 ft. 6 in. by 39 ft., and beyond this is the Magazine and Reference Room, lo ft. 6 ill. by 4I ft. The Assistants' Office, it will be noticed, is so arranged as to command direct supervision over the whole of the public rooms. Lavatory accommodation for the Staff is provided oil this floor.

There is also provided another entrance at the North end of the building for direct access to the Assistant Iibrarian's quarters oil the Second Floor.

First Floor. -Committee Room, 24 ft. by 16 ft. ; Book Store, 24 ft. by i6 ft. ; General Store Rooms, etc.

These rooms are approached by a separate Staircase.

Second Floor. -The Assistant Librarians' Quarters consist of a Sitting Room, 11 ft. by 11 ft. 6 in.; Living Room, 14 ft. 6 in. by 12 ft. two Bedrooms, each 2 ft. by 2 ft. 6 in. ; Bath Room, etc.; Scullery. 2 ft. by 9 ft.; Larder, Coal Store, Lift from Basement, etc. Lighting. -The Building is lighted by electricity, on the distributing board system, the supply being obtained from the Council's Electric Supply main.

Heating and Ventilation. -The Building is heated on the low pressure hot water circulating system, with direct acting pipes and radiators upon the ventilating principle. Fresh air is admitted through inlets placed in exterior walls behind radiators and thus warmed, the vitiated air being extracted by means of patent air pump ventilators. The Library is capable of accommodating 52,500 Volumes.

The total cost of the Buildings and furniture, together with the Architect's fees, Quantity Surveyor's fees, and salary of the Clerk of Works, is approximately 10.000

The General Contract was entrusted to
Messrs. Harris and Wardrop, of Limehouse, E.
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