Islington Council set to save Grade II-listed South Library from disrepair

Islington's South Library in Essex Road

Islington's South Library in Essex Road - Credit: Google

Islington Council has given the go-ahead to renovate the Grade II-listed South Library, after a leaking roof damaged its interior.

Safe access to the main roof of the 100-year-old building in Essex Road is not currently possible, and a timber hatch from a dormer window has rotted. 

The library in the Cross Street conservation area, which is said to have “high architectural, historical, evidential and communal heritage values” by council planning officers, was designed by architect Mervyn Macartney, who was surveyor to St Paul’s Cathedral.

Planning committee chair Cllr Angela Picknell, who is also a ward councillor where the library is located in St Mary’s, said: ““It’s a lovely little building and clearly it needs protecting. I’m not biased but it needs protecting. It is one of our assets and needs to be protected for other reasons apart from that.”

Islington’s South, West and Central libraries are among 2,500 buildings worldwide that were funded by Scottish-American steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

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