Limehouse Public Library is a historical building in Limehouse, London, formerly a public library. The library was first proposed for construction in 1888, but the required finances could not be raised until 1900 when John Passmore Edwards was approached for assistance. He subscribed a sum of £5,000 and he subsequently laid the foundation stone on October 19 of that year. The library was opened to the public in November 1901 by the mayor of Stepney.
More recently usage of the Grade II listed building fell, and it eventually closed in 2003. It is currently boarded up to prevent vandalism. The local Tower Hamlets council put the building up for sale in a controversial transaction which has since been investigated during an enquiry into the behaviour of the borough's former mayor, Lutfur Rahman. The library building was sold to a restaurant company and is currently being redeveloped into student housing.
Statue of Clement Attlee
Outside the library there formerly stood a statue, erected in 1988, of Clement Attlee, who was Labour Member of Parliament for Limehouse from 1922 to 1950, and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951. After the library closed, the statue was vandalized, and the council surrounded it with protective hoarding, before removing it for repair and recasting. In April 2011 the statue was unveiled in its new position less than a mile away at Queen Mary University of London, in Mile End.
- Passmore Edwards Public Library, Limehouse accessed 14 May 2008
- Tower Hamlets mayor launches legal bid to question inquiry into council, The Guardian, 1 July 2014
- Mayor Rahman Sells Off Limehouse Library — What Next?
- 638 Commercial Road/Limehouse Library (PA/13/2580 & PA/13/2581), Tower Hamlets Council
- "Lord Mandelson joins Lord Hennessy to unveil Clement Attlee statue". Queen Mary University of London. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
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