I very much like Carnegie libraries and I’ve visited many across the UK and the United States. The state of this one is quite sad, with the recent tenants Bo Shoh having recently left the building. The last tenants operated the building as an all-you-can-eat restaurant, although it had been used as some form of nightclub before that.
The plaque above is the only real reminder on the building as to its former use. To be fair the new library is over the road so there isn’t a loss to the city in library provision, but nonetheless, I hope that the building can come back into use. The library originally opened in 1906 and was funded by the wealthy businessman Andrew Carnegie who donated £6,000 to the project.
Carnegie came to the city on 29 May 1906 to formally open the library which he paid for, and he was rewarded for his generosity by being awarded the Freedom of the City of Peterborough. We could do with another wave of generosity today to improve the provision of public libraries….