Next month the Central Library will reopen after being closed for nearly two and a half years:
Central Library is in the midst of a $70 million dollar restoration and renovation. Over four million books and other items were moved out of the building for safekeeping and reorganization before this enormous project could begin. Central Library will reopen late in 2012 – a century after it first opened to the public – as a great research and community library for the 21st century. (slpl,org)
It reopens to the public on Sunday December 9, 2012.
From July 2010:
The city of St. Louis closed on the sale of $65 million in bonds June 30, clearing the way for construction on the nearly century-old facility to begin later this summer. (St. Louis Business Journal)
The remaining funds were raised privately through the library foundation. The new library will be quite different than what generations have known, the old central stack area behind the scenes no longer has the glass walkways and administrative offices moved to a newer building to the west, freeing up more public space.
A few Central Library facts:
- Opened: January 6, 1912
- Architect: Cass Gilbert
- Carnegie grant: May 12, 1901
With Carnegie’s $1,000,000 grant St. Louis built seven libraries — six branches and the central (source). I read somewhere Carnegie told other cities to not do like St. Louis did — putting a large percentage in one building. Today some might say $65 million in public bonds might have been better spent if spread around to the many infrastructure needs of the city. Others say such an institution is critical to our future.
The poll question this week asks if this was a good investment? The poll is in the upper right sidebar.
– Steve Patterson