New Central Library

New Central Library Renderings


New Central Library

710 W. César Chávez St.


  • 2017: Grand Opening anticipated

What is a "library for the future"?

  • Flexible & Blended Spaces
  • Focus on electronic delivery of information
  • State-of-the-art technologies
  • Community gathering place promoting a mixture of lively and contemplative spaces
  • Collections displayed to encourage discovery

What will the New Central Library offer?

  • Location of New Central Library near the Seaholm Power PlantReading porches and an indoor reading room overlooking Shoal Creek and Lady Bird Lake
  • Landmark public gathering atrium space adjacent to Shoal Creek
  • Library café with outdoor dining adjacent to Second St. and Shoal Creek Park
  • Recycled Reads gift boutique
  • Gallery space featuring local and national artists
  • Abundant bicycle parking
  • A permanent exhibit of beloved puppets created by the Austin Public Library

December 2016 Update

Exterior work in progress at the New Central Library this month includes but is not limited to setting light poles, setting steel for the photovoltaic arbor in the roof garden, installing pavers, limestone blocks and crushed granite, installing landscaping and outdoor seating (benches), setting milled stones and boulders, running underground irrigation and placing sidewalks. Ongoing interior work on all levels includes ceramic tile installation in restrooms, carpet and base molding installation, sanding and finishing mesquite flooring, installing, grouting and sealing stone flooring as well as installing and connecting kitchen equipment in the Cooking Demonstration Area. On December 8, Council authorized additional funding for the New Central Library Project Construction Manager at Risk contract with Hensel Phelps Construction Company in the amount of $5,550,000, for a revised contractual Construction Cost Limitation not to exceed the amount of $126,605,934, for construction of the New Central library and Related Improvements including the 2nd Street Bridge, Utilities, Roadway Improvements, Shoal Creek Greenbelt Improvements, and construction of the Seaholm Substation Art Wall. The need for additional authorization is due to such significant factors as inclusion of a photovoltaic (solar panel) array on the library roof and an increase in construction costs to address building and life safety code requirements. On December 15, Council will be asked to authorize the negotiation and execution of a 120-month lease agreement for approximately 3,786 square feet of interior restaurant space, with an additional 2,065 square feet of covered patio space, and an approximately 789 square foot commercial catering kitchen, within the Austin Public Library’s New Central Library, located at 710 West Cesar Chavez Street with the Elm Restaurant Group, LLC, with a minimum rental income of $2,065,868.76. Minimum rental income includes reimbursement of Landlord’s tenant improvement allowance not to exceed $450,000.

Art in Public Places

Birds by Christian Moeller, kinetic sculpture resembling a gigantic cuckoo clockOn January 6, 2014 the Art in Public Places Panel approved the Final Design for the New Central Library Art Project titled CAW by Christian Moeller, a world-class, innovative public artist whose works often incorporate robotic elements. CAW is a 37’ kinetic sculpture resembling a gigantic cuckoo clock with a swinging pendulum which will be wall-mounted in the atrium.

An accompanying LED animation screen featuring a black bird will be mounted on the 5th level. A computer program will drive the behavior and gestures of the bird using an artificial life system. This work is inspired in part by Austin’s relation to its resident grackle population and by the strong presence black birds have in mythology and literature.

New Central Library Contacts

Cindy Jordan
Project Manager, Public Works

John Gillum
Facilities Process Manager, Austin Public Library