The site of the existing library is a short walk from Thornton Heath Station. The existing library is an Edwardian masonry structure built as part of the worldwide network of libraries funded by Andrew Carnegie.
It was in a lack-lustre condition and the refurbishment improved the current reading rooms and teenage library. Some of the existing floor levels were altered to provide new information technology facilities (ICT Suite), staff amenities and circulation space bringing the development in line with current disabled access legislation. To the front of the existing building a new entry pavilion creates a public presence and cafe space for the library and a ramped and paved area offers full disabled access to the ground floor from street level.