Designed and build in 1912 by Cass Gilbert, St. Louis’ Central Library displays the grandeur typical of the era, with facades of rusticated Maine granite, a monumental entrance, a front colossal arcade adorned with contrasting marble bas-relief panels, and an oval central pavilion surrounded by four light courts. However, adapting the library’s grand structure to its role as a 21st-century community information center has been a struggle. Cannon Design won the national competition to create the final design for the historic renovation.
The $70 million, two-year renovation and restoration of the 185,000 sf building updates the library’s research and service capabilities while restoring the grandeur of many of the library’s historic rooms. St. Louis Magazine recently recorded this excellent video with St. Louis Public Library Executive Director Waller McGuire.