The Scottish-born American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated £3,000 towards the construction of Stourbridge Library and Technical Institute, a classic example of the High Victorian style, though borrowing from the Renaissance style of the Netherlands. It was designed by Frederick Woodward, surveyor to the Urban District Council. The clock tower further along Hagley Road was not added until later. It was erected in memory of Isaac Nash, a local edge tool manufacturer who was a key figure in the library's conception. He laid the foundation stone in February 1904. The site had previously been occupied by row of ramshackle cottages and shops. The reading and news room opened on August 1st 1905, with the lending library opening in April 1906. Positioned on an 'awkward' corner plot, the complex building is of red brick with terracotta dressings and Cumberland and Welsh slate. This photograph is detailed enough for appreciation of the entrance with the elaborate terracotta archway surmounted by relief figures within a tympanum. Up the steps and within the entrance there are decorative stained glass panes including portrait roundels of Kelvin, Shakespeare, Rubens and Mozart. This photograph also affords valuable glimpses of how both Church Street and Hagley Road looked around 1914.
Catalogue Number : DPI 0123
Title : Stourbridge - Free Library
Date : c.1914
Source : Real Photo Postcard
Maximum Dimensions : 6003 x 3579 Pixels
Resolution : 1200dpi
Maximum File Size : 7.59Mb