Take A Tour Of Austin's Overdue Central Library

Aug 8, 2017

The City of Austin says the new downtown Central Library will open Saturday, Oct. 28. 

The facility on Cesar Chavez Street, which is intended to replace the 1970s-era John Henry Faulk Library on Guadalupe, was set to open last year, but the project was delayed. Facilities Process Manager John Gillum led a tour of the new library Tuesday, calling it the "project of a lifetime."

The new six-story library is twice the size of its predecessor and features a cooking demonstration area, performance space, cafe and rooftop garden. 

Next week, city staff will begin moving books from the Faulk Library to the new facility.

Austin voters approved a $90 million-bond for the library in 2006, but Austin City Council members voted to add an additional $30 million in city money to the budget after a revision of the project in 2010. Council approved an additional $5 million in 2016 to cover the final stretch of construction and labor costs, bringing the total cost to $125 million.

Construction on the library began in 2013. 

A new bridge will connect the downtown library to Second Street.
Credit Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT
Credit Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT
The performance space at the Central Library.
Credit Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT
A construction worker stands outside the children's section.
Credit Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT
The screened-in porch of the library.
Credit Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT
A view of the stacks on the fifth floor.
Credit Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT
An installation along the facade features library-inspired quotations from authors.
Credit Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT
"Birds," a sculpture by Christian Moeller, is mounted to the wall above the atrium.
Credit Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT
A view of the rooftop garden.
Credit Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT