Shoring Up a Cultural Pillar

by John M. Karlberg, Assoc.; S.A. Miro, Inc., 4582 South Ulster St. Pkwy, Denver, CO 80237,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1995, Vol. 65, Issue 8, Pg. 42-44

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: With the grand opening of its new addition this past spring, the Denver Central Library took a giant step to quadrupling its size and bringing the library into the information age while maintaining a wide range of services. Designed in 1956 by the Denver architectural firm of Fisher/Hoyt Associate Architects, the existing Denver Central Library building was showing it age. Originally conceived as the first phase of a larger structure, the building was expected to fill the library's needs for only 10 years. Forty years later, this first phase was struggling to cope with the enormous demands made on it by the constantly expanding book collections and exponential growth in library visits. At 133,000 sq ft, the building could provide public access to only 25% of the total book and art collections owned by the library. The building could not provide sufficient space for reading or study or for its popular children's library. In 1990, the city of Denver approved a $91.6 million bond issue for rehabilitation of the city library system. From this money, $72 million was allocated to the Central Library with the remainder going to the branch libraries. After budgeting $48 million of the $72 million for construction costs for the Central Library, the city eld a design competition for renovation of the existing library building with a new addition.

Subject Headings: Colorado | Building design | Municipal engineering | Information centers | Rehabilitation |

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