Of all the terracotta public buildings in Birmingham designed by William Martin of Martin & Chamberlain, one of the most dramatic compositions is the Green Lane Library & Baths, Small Heath, with a circular clock-tower at the apex of a sharply triangular site between Green Lane and Little Green Lane.
The library was opened 1894, and after the well was sunk in 1896 the first- and second-class swimming pools and public baths were begun in 1897 and opened 1901.
The swimming baths were bombed on October 18th 1940 and rebuilt in 1951.
The building closed in 1977 and was sold for £24,000 two years later for conversion to a mosque and community centre. The community had previously worshipped in two terraced houses is Alum Rock; the spacious facilities at Green Lane enabled them to expand to provide worship space with ablution facilities, a mortuary, a reference library and a community hall.
The Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre was completed in 2008, and the Green Lane Independent Boys School opened in 1911: http://www.greenlanemasjid.org/about-us/history.aspx.
For details of Mike Higginbottom’s Birmingham’s Heritage lecture, please click here.
The 80-page, A4 handbook for the 2013 Birmingham’s Heritage tour, with text, photographs, maps and a reading list, is available for purchase, price £15.00 including postage and packing. To view sample pages click here. Please send a cheque, payable to Mike Higginbottom, to 63 Vivian Road, Sheffield, S5 6WJ.