Sunday, September 29, 2013

San Diego Public Library Grand Opening

At long last, San Diego gets a new central library

Even as far back as 1982—when I moved to San Diego to work for the county library—residents as well as librarians lobbied for a new building to replace the once-modern, but now extremely crowded, central library built in 1954. Efforts continued all 10 years I lived there and beyond. Finally, yesterday, San Diego's new central library was opened to much fanfare and happy appreciation.

The building is truly magnificent. Wood and timeless shades of brown and grey dominate the interior. The exterior is capped by an enormous dome that has already become one of the most iconic features of San Diego's skyline. As architect Rob Quigley explained at yesterday's opening ceremony, the unfinished dome reminds us that knowledge is never complete. I absolutely love it.

The front of the library

View from the 2d floor

Looking down on the ground floor

One of my favorite rooms is the auditorium, which
has an accordion wall that opens outside to accommodate 
overflow audiences. The art installation (above) fills an entire 
wall of the theater: open books behind mesh. Fabulous!!

Another favorite feature: chalkboard
on the top and sides of the teen room
stacks. Brilliant!

The 8th floor reading room not only has a phenomenal
view of the Coronado Bridge and San Diego Bay, it also
reminds me a lot of the wonderful "living room" in the
amazing Seattle Public Library's central facility

Dome scaffolding at the top of the building

The view from the top of the building: PetCo Park
baseball stadium

The art gallery

An artifact from the past: card catalog in
the California Room

The stacks

Looking skyward at the dome

The unfinished dome

The line of community members was too long to see the children's room, which is decorated in Dr. Seuss; plus I missed the baseball collection, which is supposed to be terrific. So I guess I'll just have to return soon to see the rest of the library. Oh, darn!

P.S. So I did indeed return to the library a couple weeks later. The children's library is lots of fun and the baseball collection impressive. See for yourself:

Dr. Seuss on the children's room

Colorful furniture for kids

Children's information desk

Baseball books and art on the 8th floor

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