Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Cincinnati, Ohio


Pictured here is the new Main Library, a structure designed to house a modern service, complete, convenient, and comfortable. The total cost of this beautiful new building was $4,670,000. It has a floor space of 200,000 square feet, and a book capacity of about 1,650,000 volumes. [From the back of the card]

The original library occupied this site until 1955, when the Library opened the first post-war main library building in the U.S. Located at the corner of Eighth and Vine Streets, the building was designed by noted Cincinnati architect Woodie Garber and was widely recognized for its contemporary design and use of open space. The 1955 building, dedicated to Hamilton County residents who were killed in World War I, World War II and the Korean War, today serves as the cornerstone of the present Main Library complex.

In 1982, an addition was constructed encompassing the entire block formed by Eighth, Ninth, Vine and Walnut Streets, forming one of the largest public library buildings in the U.S. While the 1955 building was remodeled to create one integrated facility, several original touches such as the serpentine brick wall surrounding the garden, the Venetian glass tiles on the columns and central service core, and the memorial plaque honoring Hamilton County veterans, remain and can be seen today. The 1982 addition wraps around the 1955 building and forms an impressive atrium, providing Main Library users with a view of all five floors of the building, including closed stack areas. [Thanks to the Cincinnati Public Library, /www.cincinnatilibrary.org]

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