Crofton Park Library
The Old Dame and Her Mastectomy




Crofton Park Library, like most Carnegie libraries, was not built as a mere container for books. It was designed to be a beacon of inspiration flickering above the surrounding terraces of Brockley. Its contemporary English Renaissance architecture, drawing on classical Renaissance styles, functioned as a constant reminder of man’s true artistic and intellectual potential.

Built out of red brick, the library had large groundfloor windows above which sat oval windows guilded with ornate sandstone features. The library was therefore like a duchess, a Florence Nightingale, erected to offer literary succour to the poor and needy.

Two glass domes, like crystal mammary glands, were built on top of the library to allow light to flood into the main floor. Today the duchess is a centenarian in whose wrinkled face one can sense impending death. Ageing is an imperceptible process but in May 1943, the duchess had the ignominy of being subject to grievous bodily harm; undergoing a rather public double mastectomy, when German bombs intended for a nearby railway line destroyed her glass domes. The domes were never replaced.


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Andrew Carnegie's Palace of Meritocracy

Army School in a Global Trade War

The Old Dame and Her Mastectomy

The Psychedelic Snowstorm Settles on Crofton Park Library

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