Manchester Central Library was designed by E. Vincent Harris and was opened on 17 July 1934.
In 1926 a competition was held for the design of a new library and Town Hall Extension and the winner was an architect called E. Vincent Harris.
Harris's work has been described by historian John Archer as revealing 'a creative and original modern spirit'. He worked very closely with Stanley Jast and Charles Nowell, the Chief Librarians, on the unusual design of the building, which was strongly influenced by visits to American libraries.
Building started in 1930 and took four years. Locals were intrigued by the curious building they could see taking shape:
"When it was being built the public were very intrigued. It was called various names, for example the Corporation Wedding Cake and the St. Peter's Square Gasometer. Under the portico became a favourite trysting place. The shape of the building was its best advertisement and it was never necessary to put a notice 'Public Library' on the outside." (Leslie Smyth, former member of staff)
Central Library under construction 12/3/1932