Given an owner who is minded to do so, any sound building can be adapted to a new use. The evidence is all around to see.
Buildings from the 60s and 70s are no exception.
Imaginative developers have transformed the once drab Royal Mail sorting office into the crimson Mailbox; apartment-dwellers have replaced the office-workers who once gazed over New Street from the Rotunda.
These buildings stood neglected and empty for long periods before someone spotted their potential and rescued them from almost certain death.
Their previous owners had no further use for them and disposed of them like last year’s sofa.
The same attitude can be found in the city council, which relies entirely on others to take publicly-owned buildings off its hands and its books when they are “surplus to requirements”.
Disposing of a listed building is difficult but not impossible.
The Grade II-listed Green Lane Baths and Library was sold to a Muslim association in 1977 for £25,000 and it has used them as a mosque and community centre ever since.
John Madin’s 1974 Central Library was, however, not listed and can be altered in any way to suit new uses.
The faulty concrete cladding panels, the source of much criticism, can be repaired or replaced with new ones, or replaced with glass panels or any other non-structural skin.
Passenger lifts can be installed to rise dramatically through the full height of the building inside the atrium.
What can the empty building be used for once the last book has been moved to the new library and the tenants of Paradise Forum have moved out? Just imagine the grand volumes of space both inside and outside that will have been released.
Friends of the Central Library have their own suggestions but they don’t have a monopoly on ideas.
A hotel, department store, or commercial offices, or a mixture of such uses, are the most obvious, but somewhat conventional suggestions, but there is a strong feeling that the building should maintain a civic presence here and be dedicated to social and cultural purposes.