The Old Library this building in
The Hayes Cardiff is an excellent example of
Victorian Architecture built between 1880 and 1882 to the design of the
Architects James,Seward & Thomas. It was opened by the Mayor on the
1882. The building was funded by a 1penny rate levyed by the
extension to the building was soon considered necessary which was then
built between 1893
and 1896 by E Turner & Son the Contractors and designed by the same
as the original building.
The building was the culmination of the efforts to provide a centre for the people of Cardiff providing facilities for a free library, museum and schools for science and art.
|The heating system
installed for the original library building has
long since been removed, but a thoughtful decision to retain the
original heaters was from an engineering viewpoint a historically
significant one. These vertical tubed heaters are now a very rare
item, manufactured by William Graham of London. The ground
now used by the Tourist Information Centre, rear and tiled entrances
and open staircase are all still heated by these vertical style heaters.
|In the staircase are the rarest
of the William Graham pattern heaters namely their quadrant shaped
vertical heater. This pattern of heater has only ever been found in The
National Trust property of Powis Castle.
Click on the link Powis to view the quadrant heaters discovered there.
A corridor lined with coloured and ornamental wall tiles was built as the entrance to the Museum. This corridor was suitably called the tiled corridor and has a distinctive series of wall tiles depicting the four seasons, and night and morning. The floor tile appearance is deceptive as although they look like a mosaic, they are simply ordinary floor tiles impressed with coloured clay to give the appearance of being a mosaic.
The extension was originally provided with two wall mounted highly ornamental and colourful tiled drinking water fountains located at ground and first floor level.
When the Art Gallery was moved into the extension both fountains were moved into the corridor area of the original building.