New Central Library

New Central Library Renderings


New Central Library

710 W. César Chávez St.

Check out the most recent photos here.


  • October 28, 2017: Grand Opening

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

July 2017 Update

As of June 29, the Smoke Evacuation Testing of the New Central Library was completed with the building passing all City of Austin inspection requirements. On June 30, a Temporary Certificate to Stock was granted to the project, allowing furniture to be delivered and installed in the facility. A furniture delivery schedule has been established and the first furniture vendor has begun their installation. There will be at least two furniture installers working at all times and, of necessity, sharing the loading dock. All of the required Life Safety Testing for the high-rise New Central Library is anticipated to be completed on or before July 28, and installation of library shelving to facilitate final acceptance of Life Safety Testing is now in progress. Substantial Completion will be reached on or before August 4. Substantial Completion signifies that the building is ready for owner acceptance and occupancy, and the Library will begin moving collections and personnel to the new location at this time. A date for the grand opening of the facility is anticipated to be set and advertised widely once the building is in the possession of the end user, the Library Department. Two of the building’s elevators required design modifications, which have been completed by the elevator contractor and electrical subcontractor. The State of Texas elevator inspection was subsequently initiated on July 18. The City of Austin’s third party Commissioning Agent will be performing a “pull the plug” test that simulates a total power outage on July 19. This test assures the City of Austin that if electricity is lost to the building, the emergency generators start up as required and that all building systems return to normal operation when power is restored. City of Austin staff, along with consultant architects and engineers, continue to support the contractor in identifying punch list items and verifying when the deficiencies are redressed. Traffic signals have now been installed at the intersection of W. Cesar Chavez Street and the newly constructed section of West Avenue adjacent to the New Central Library, and West Avenue is anticipated to be open to traffic flow by the end of the month. Finally, the New Central Library Cookbook Café lease agreement has been finalized with the Elm Restaurant Group. The Elm Group is a successful, innovative and rapidly growing restaurant group, headquartered in Austin, Texas and dedicated to creating valuable restaurant properties. Their award-winning ventures include 24 Diner, Easy Tiger Bake Shop and Beer Garden, Italic’s and Irene’s. At this time, it is believed that the Elm Group will be issued a permit for the tenant finish-out of the café space by August 14 and that their contractor will start work immediately thereafter.

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

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