St. Louis renovates its downtown library

December 17, 2012 by  

On Sunday, December 2, 975 friends and patrons of the St. Louis Public Library gathered for a first glimpse of the two-year, $70m renovation of the 100-year-old building. The library, a Beaux Arts masterpiece, is a cultural icon of the city, whose citizens supported the renovation with $18m in donations to a capital campaign.

Visitors who wandered through the library on the day almost unanimously praised the restoration, while they photographed its oaken beams and plaster ceilings. Some parts of the library received more modern treatments, such as LED lighting and new steel shelves, while others retained their original furnishings, such as 100-year-old oak shelving — though the old shelves did receive a new coat of shellac.

The Central Library is the flagship of the St. Louis library system, which has 16 branches. The main library shut down in 2010 for the renovation, which was funded by private donations, as well as bonds. The goal was to reopen the building in 2012, which has been achieved, of course. Even more good news came with the fact that the project came in $1m under budget.

The library’s executive director, Waller McGuire, called the building:

“…a gift to the citizens of St. Louis.”

He went on to express his gratitude for the support of local citizens.

McGuire could work with brochure printers to create brochures that feature photos of the renovation, and the brochure could be placed in racks near the door. He might also consider undertaking banner printing to create banners that welcome the new-look library’s visitors.