Day to Day => Education => Topic started by: 80sChild on June 29, 2017, 13:50:24

Title: Demolition of Springfield Library, Maidstone.
Post by: 80sChild on June 29, 2017, 13:50:24
I thought I'd put this here because I'm not sure which category it'd fall under.

Recently I've become aware that the old Springfield Library in Maidstone, the one with 'the tower' along Royal Engineers Road, has been bought and is scheduled for demolition.   

For those of you who are not sure or have never been there, it's this one:

http://www.frankham.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Picture1-Copy.jpg

http://s0.geograph.org.uk/photos/17/90/179084_d50eb7b5.jpg

https://www.newofficeeurope.com/images/serviced-offices/serviced-offices-the-old-library-st-faiths-street-maidstone-kent_1_800_450_s.jpg

And I'll be honest with you, I was a bit shocked by this.  :(

I have a lot of fond memories of that place when I was a child. It is, or should I say was, a beautifully designed building.

I remember that, as you drive along Royal Engineers Road towards Maidstone, you'd turn of left and travel along a short road that curved round to a little tunnel under the road you just travelled along which was quite fun for a child.  :)

Architecturally the building itself was wonderful, you went through reception and into this wonderful circular room filled with bookcases and lined with deep wood paneling.
I remember the staircases that would take you up to the upper balcony that circumnavigated the whole room. 

For a young child there was something quite wondrous about that building, and I always looked forward to when my family use to (very occasionally) go there. :)

In fact, my father, who grew up in Maidstone area in the 60's actually REMEMBERS actually building it. He can remember seeing workmen on scaffolding building the tower part.  :)

I am going to miss this building when it's gone. It may have been old but it had a certain charm about it.

I have tried looking for photos of it online, but apart from a few exterior shots I haven't found any interior shots yet.

I'd love to know if there are any old photos out there of what it use to look like.
Title: Re: Demolition of Springfield Library, Maidstone.
Post by: AlanH on June 30, 2017, 08:38:48
No sentimentality allowed these days when there's a dollar or two to be made. Unless a building is actually protected by legislation, no matter how nice it is, once past its use by date, down it'll come.
And there'll be plenty of sticky fingers out to catch a few of those bucks.....
AlanH.

Title: Re: Demolition of Springfield Library, Maidstone.
Post by: CAT on June 30, 2017, 11:32:28
Why think that legislation will stand in its way? A common factor is if a building, despite any form of protection, is 'financially uneconomical' to repair, then it will come down to be replaced by a vastly expensive glass and concrete box that will stand for twenty years before looking drab and out of date and requiring demolition, again. As long as 'The Man' gets his cut and prosperity of an area can be seen to be happening then that fine?
Title: Re: Demolition of Springfield Library, Maidstone.
Post by: Dave Smith on June 30, 2017, 18:52:54
I don't know whether the situation has changed but at one time any member of the public was able to apply for a court order to put a historic preservation order on a building or, many years ago, my brother in law worked for the Northern gas board. As a very experienced (not gas board) contractor, mainly involved with gas & fuel pipe lines,& the laying of, he was asked by his boss to arrange the dismantling of the frame of the big gasometer at Carlisle. Not an easy task as there is a lot more involved than just "felling" it. He was on site one day ascertaining what needed to be done & how when a lady appeared with a piece of paper. "Stop what you are doing, I have a preservation order for this structure as it has stood as a landmark for very many years in Carlisle & should remain so". It's still there! Because it would become dangerous if just left, the Gas board have had to keep it in good repair, mainly by painting it every few years! So, if you like it enough, worth a try? 
Title: Re: Demolition of Springfield Library, Maidstone.
Post by: AlanH on July 01, 2017, 09:46:40
I wouldn't have thought a gasometer would ever qualify for preservation, landmark or not. Still, someone liked it enough to stop it being turned into scrap so anything is worth a try to preserve something really nice.
AlanH.
Title: Re: Demolition of Springfield Library, Maidstone.
Post by: GP on July 01, 2017, 12:51:37
There is a Victorian metal framework of a Gas Holder, that has been preserved near St Pancras International Station . (observed from train just before arriving at the station).
Title: Re: Demolition of Springfield Library, Maidstone.
Post by: Longpockets on July 01, 2017, 16:58:43
I wouldn't have thought a gasometer would ever qualify for preservation

I agree, but I think it could be it was a significant piece of engineering history, may be a change from cast iron to wrought iron to steel. i .e The covered slips at Chatham Historic Dockyard or the boat house at Sheerness. Just my thoughts.
Title: Re: Demolition of Springfield Library, Maidstone.
Post by: conan on July 01, 2017, 19:40:01
The gas holder at the Oval cricket ground is listed
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Oval_Gasholders
Title: Re: Demolition of Springfield Library, Maidstone.
Post by: Dave Smith on July 02, 2017, 12:58:03
Neither I nor my brother in law could believe it because it would cost the Gas company so much to maintain; which has been the case. But preservation order it was, and not because it was of significant engineering merit either, just because it had been there a long time & had become a local landmark. A bit like the oval gasometer ( "x is now bowling from the gasworks end")!