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Manchester Central Library, Manchester

4.4
#6 of 35 in Sightseeing in Manchester
Landmark Library
Manchester Central Library is the headquarters of the city's library and information service in Manchester, England. Facing St Peter's Square, it was designed by E. Vincent Harris and constructed between 1930 and 1934. At its opening, one critic wrote, "This is the sort of thing which persuades one to believe in the perennial applicability of the Classical canon". The form of the building, a columned portico attached to a rotunda domed structure, is loosely derived from the Pantheon, Rome. The library building is grade II* listed. A four-year project to renovate and refurbish the library commenced in 2010. Central Library re-opened on 22 March 2014.HistoryBackgroundManchester was the first local authority to provide a public lending and reference library after the passing of the Public Libraries Act 1850. The Manchester Free Library opened at Campfield in September 1852 at a ceremony attended by Charles Dickens. When the Campfield premises were declared to be unsafe in 1877, the library was moved to the old Town Hall in King Street. The library moved again to what is now Piccadilly Gardens, to the former outpatients wing of Manchester Royal Infirmary and an old YMCA hut in 1912.
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794 reviews
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  • Situated in St. Peters Square the library is a very impressive building from the outside. Recently having undergone an extensive period of renovation, the interior space is now an eye catching example...  more »
  • It is a nice building but a tourist can't use the library. I understand that they don't lent books to tourists but you can't even read there books inside the library. What is the point to open a libra...  more »
  • It has undergone a well overdue update and refurbishment. Very modern for a fast moving forward city.  more »

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Some of Manchester's finest hotels are located near the city center. Staying there will keep you close to all of the city's main attractions, as well as its main road and rail networks. Manchester's centrally located hotels boast modern rooms, good food, and friendly staff. From there you can easily explore Manchester's famous pubs, rooftop bars, and restaurants. For a more leisurely and quiet experience of the city, venture farther away from the central areas. There you can explore a world of relatively inexpensive boutique hotels and self-catering apartments, especially convenient for visitors using Manchester as a base for exploring northern England and North Wales. 
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