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Austin Moves Forward with New Downtown Library

published on November 17, 2011

Downtown Austin is well on its way to getting a new crown jewel: a new, bigger central library. In 2015, doors to the flagship facility will open to what will likely be excited but hushed crowds who will marvel at its beauty. The new location will be part of the growing Shoal Creek area, overlooking the beauty of Lady Bird Lake.

Austin City Council recently approved the schematic design, created by Lake Flato Architects and Shepley Bulfinch, pushing the project one step closer to its completion date of Winter 2015. Other (tentative) important dates include Spring 2012 when the design development will be completed, Summer 2013 when the actual construction begins, and Fall 2015 when the construction is completed. The Grand Opening Ceremony will take place soon after, and Austinites from all walks of life will be able to take advantage of everything this new facility has to offer.

The six level building will not only be beautiful in its design, but environmentally friendly, as well (this is Austin, after all)! The schematics include sustainable elements like energy efficient integrated systems, natural lighting strategies, a rainwater harvesting system, and a vegetated roof. Combined together, these elements will make the new library the most sustainable in the country. In addition, visitors can find features that include outdoor reading porches, a café, a bike garage, and a rooftop garden. There will also be a focus on technology, displays showcasing Austin music and musicians, displays honoring Austin restaurants and chefs that will also feature cooking demos, and a permanent collection of puppets created by the Austin Public Library.

The current central Austin library, constructed in 1979 and renamed for local writer and free speech advocate John Henry Faulk in 1995, won’t be going anywhere after the new one opens. It will become part of the Austin History Center. According to Tim Staley, Executive Director of Austin Public Library Friends Foundation, “The Austin History Center is bursting at the seams. They need more rooms for archival storage, exhibitions, and research space.”

If you are excited about the new library opening in 2015 and want to be closer to it when it happens, Austin REALTOR® Brian Talley can help you find the perfect downtown Austin home to meet your needs.

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