Sidney Smith was born in Southampton in 1858, the son of John Smith a former town councillor. He set up an architectural practice in London in 1879, specialising in public architecture. He designed a number of libraries in the capital, including Durning Library in Kennington Lane, South Lambeth, Streatham and Brixton. The latter three were benefactions from William Tate, patron of the Tate Art Gallery at Millbank of which Smith was also the architect. Smith submitted plans for the proposed new central public library in Southampton in 1891, but was unsuccessful. The library, built at the corner of London Road and Cumberland Place, was designed by Albert Edward James Guy and opened in 1893.

Further reading:

‘The Development of Public Libraries in Southampton, 1887-1921’, by Richard Preston in Southampton Local History Forum Journal, no. 15, Summer 2009, p 1-20. (HS/h)


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