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Central Library Centennial: A System-Wide Celebration

ST. LOUIS, MO… The St. Louis Public Library is proud to announce that it will host a system-wide celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the dedication of Central Library. The daylong celebration takes place on Saturday, January 7, 2012. Branches throughout the city will host centennial programs and events including storytellers, musicians, displays, and children’s activities. All programs begin at 2 p.m. and are FREE and open to the public.

Baden: Gary Snook will perform musical pieces from the 1912 era, while visitors view an exhibit displaying gracious living circa 1912. Baden Branch is located at 8448 Church Road.

Barr: Annette Harrison will tell stories about the wonders of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Historic photos of Central Library over the past 100 years will be available for viewing. Barr Branch is located at 1701 South Jefferson Avenue.

Buder: Visitors will have the opportunity to have their photo taken with Central Library in the background to keep as a souvenir. In addition, adult bestsellers and children’s classics from the era will be on display. Buder Branch is located at 4401 Hampton Avenue.

Cabanne: Loretta Washington will tell stories about the experiences of the first female African-American bank president, Maggie Lena Walker. Visitors can also view an exhibit that consists of early educational materials used in 1912 from the Carondelet Historical Society collection. Cabanne Branch is located at 1106 Union Boulevard.

Carpenter: The Gateway LEGO Users Group will be on hand building a replica of Central Library with LEGOs. Visitors will be invited to assist in building the replica starting at 2 p.m. Historic photos of Central Library over the past 100 years will be available for viewing. Carpenter Branch is located at 3309 South Grand Boulevard.

Central Express: Jocelyn Rugaber will entertain with music from the early 1900s. Historic photos of Central Library over the past 100 years will be available for viewing. Central Express is located at 815 Olive Street, Suite 160.

Charing Cross: Mini-games and activities will be available for children. Charing Cross is located at 356 North Skinker Boulevard.

Divoll: P’Tah Williams will perform ragtime music. Visitors can view and exhibit detailing what was happening at the Divoll Branch when Central Library originally opened. Divoll Branch is located at 4234 North Grand Boulevard.

Julia Davis: Visitors will have the opportunity to have their photo taken with Central Library in the background to keep as a souvenir. An exhibit from the collection of Sue Hinkel showcasing Crayolas (invented in 1903) will be on display. Julia Davis Branch is located at 4415 Natural Bridge Avenue.

Kingshighway: Dianne Moran will present a story about her grandmother’s arrival in the United States from Poland in early 1900s. Costumes and relics from the period will be available for viewing. A collection of ink bottles from John Hinkel will also be on display. Kingshighway Branch is located at 2260 South Vandeventer Avenue.

Machacek: Kathy Schottel will sing songs and tell stories about life in the early 1900s. Lionel trains will be on display. Machacek Branch is located at 6424 Scanlan Avenue.

Marketplace: Mini-games and activities will be available for children. Marketplace is located at 6548 Manchester Avenue.

Schlafly: Children will have the opportunity to create their own spinning top. Hiroshi Tada will introduce the history of the spinning top and perform a live demonstration. Tops and toys circa 1912 from the Joan Smith collection will be on display. Schlafly Branch is located at 225 North Euclid Avenue.

Walnut Park: Carole Shelton will portray Annie Malone and describe her life as a businesswoman, inventor and philanthropist. Adult bestsellers and children’s classics from the era will be on display. Walnut Park Branch is located at 5760 West Florissant Avenue.

Officially opened on January 6, 1912, at a ceremony attended by more than 800 civic, community, and business leaders, Central Library was designed by Cass Gilbert and built with funds from Andrew Carnegie and the citizens of St. Louis.

Nearly a century later, in June 2010, Central Library closed for an extensive $70 million restoration and renewal project. The building is expected to re-open in late 2012. During the project all normal Library services have continued to be available at the Library’s 16 Branch locations throughout the city.

During the course of the project, the Library’s massive 4.7 million-item collection was moved off-site, and staff was relocated to make way for construction crews. Seven stories of shelving and flooring were removed in the interior “stacks,” an area that is being transformed into the new Locust Street Atrium entrance. Central Library’s expansive main and other reading rooms are having new life breathed into them through expanded public spaces; new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems; restoration of original floors, walls, and ceilings; and enhanced lighting.

The new Central Library will feature an impressive 65 percent increase in public space, state-of-the-art technology, a cafe, new displays, and a 250-seat auditorium carved out of the space that originally housed the building’s coal bin. The St. Louis Public Library is also taking the opportunity to expand the digitization of major portions of its collection.

Central Library is among the largest construction projects in downtown St. Louis and is being funded through Library resources, bond financing, tax credits, and the St. Louis Public Library Foundation’s capital campaign.

The Central Library Project construction team includes CLR LLC, development consultant; Cannon Design, architect; and BSI Constructors, construction manager.

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12/21/2011