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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

Death of a Building Part 9

Originally published on Photoblog by Gethin Thomas AUGUST. 13, 2020

Part Nine comprises of shots taken in July 2016. Only two corners of the main library building are still left standing. During July the north west corner of the main building is demolished enabling me to now get views from a new vantage point. The Link between the main building and the service towers is gone and the two bridge links to the Edwardian Art Gallery disappear. The final bridge is detached from the gallery and the colossal steel girders, the largest in the project are dramatically cut through. The first large hole appears in the Conservatoire, Adrian Boult Hall.

Please see parts one and two for some background and photos of the building exterior and interior before demolition began.

Demolition started at the end of 2015, I started my project in January 2016 after the first chunk had been removed from the main structure.

I had three main vantage points early in the process. From the portico of the Art Gallery next door. This area was raised up so gave a view over the site above the screens around the site. From a terrace next to the Town Hall, and from the balcony of the Conservatoire, which was also later demolished, but in the early stages continued to be accessible.

These are the two service towers that supported the two bridge links to the art gallery. You can see where the first bridge has been removed, where the girder has been severed and where the girder is still on the ground. The tower on the left is the most monumental and contained services, the one on the right was more of a bridge support.

North view of the removal of the first bridge.

The second bridge is still intact at this point.

An historic moment as the link with the art gallery is finally severed.

The men with the cutting torches give some idea of scale to the beams.

This is the last but one of the giant beams to be removed

This is the first breach in the walls of the Conservatoire. The rows of theatre seating are still in place inside.

The North West corner has now been removed showing the last stepped corner of the main building left behind, the South West corner, joined to the library theatre, the curved section in front.

A view has now opened up that has not been seen for half a century. The three main civic buildings of the city. From the left, The Birmingham City Art Gallery, in the middle, The Council House with "Big Brum" the clock tower and on the right The Town Hall in all it's Greek splendour, book ended by the remains of the monumental library structure.

Work is now moving to the Conservatoire on the left. This means my balcony access here is at an end.

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