Historic former library in Kamakura to be demolished

Former Kamakura City Library

On January 5, Kamakura City announced plans to demolish a historic property that was originally the Kamakura City Library, and until recently had been used as a training center.

The 2-storey wooden building was completed in 1936. It is located between the Onarimachi’s local city office and the Onari Elementary School and is 200 meters west of Kamakura Station. Aside from a brief period during the war when it was confiscated by the military, the building had been was used a library until 1974. Afterwards it had been used by the city’s Board of Education for a variety of uses.

According to a representative from the city, the building’s wooden window sashes are rotting and staff from the after-school care facility located on-site had made requests to rebuild the property.

The city plan to demolish the building between June and September 2015 and replace it with a 2-storey prefab government office building. Demolition is expected to cost 28.6 million Yen.

Many of Kamakura’s cultural and educational facilities from the Meiji era until pre-war were built using donations. The library was built using a funds bequeathed to the city by Otohiko Majima (1872 – 1928), a wealthy banker and poet. The Majima Memorial Hall (c1929) at the Aoyama Gakuin institute in Shibuya was also built using funds left to the school by Majima.

The Kanagawa Shimbun, January 6, 2015.
Image via http://gipsypapa.exblog.jp/10218361/

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