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Notes on the Geography of The United Kingdom: Birmingham: Photo 57

world pictures The United Kingdom: Birmingham

Here's the monument erected to Chamberlain in 1880, by which time he had moved onto the national stage. He was present at the dedication; good thing he wasn't around in 1974 for the opening of the library. Lost in the shuffle are a statue of James Watt, erected in 1868, and another of Joseph Priestley, recast in 1951. Both were moved here from other locations. The library, by John Madin Design Group, does have its fans. Foster calls it "a civic project of European importance" and "the finest example of the Brutalist aesthetic in Birmingham" (p. 77). English Heritage pushed to have the building protected, but the national government in 2009 declined the request. Late in 2015, demolition began.

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