Streatham Tate Library

Streatham Tate Library

Forming a part of Streatham’s vast history, the Tate Library is a focal point for SW16, situated in the heart of the high street. The landmark first opened its doors in 1890 and was built by Henry Tate, who later established London’s famous Tate Britain. He was born in Lancashire, but moved to Streatham Common and lived there until his dying day, 9 years after the library had been completed.

Today, elements of the past can be uncovered if you look closely at the architecture of the library. The King Edward VII memorial clock which was added to the building in 1912 is located on its exterior. Despite a major £1.4 million refurbishment in 2014, the library still celebrates the important history of Tate and his place in many Streathamites memories. There is a bust sculpture of Tate in the window of the library that gazes peacefully over pedestrians as they walk up and down the high street.

The library is a shared community space, with areas to work, relax and come together. Open, with lots of natural lighting and peaceful areas, this is the perfect place to visit if you want to get on with reading, studying or you just need a break. The garden is a delight in the summer and the reading hall equally exudes the best of the sunlight for you to enjoy in an indoor setting.

The children’s area hosts storytelling and ‘Rhyme times’ for under 5’s which are free. The space is also home to regular meetings from other Streatham groups, such as the book club and a ‘Code Club,’ computer programming course for 9-11 year olds.

The library makes the most of the Streatham community spirit, where everyone and anyone are welcome to come together and celebrate history and knowledge under one roof. It’s a must visit on a lazy weekend, a study day or even a fun family outing.

For more information on Streatham Tate Library and its events, head here.

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