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

January 2017 Update

The New Central Library remains a busy construction site this month as contractors, consultants and City of Austin personnel focus on pushing the project through to completion. Ongoing work at the moment includes but is not limited to construction of the Roof Garden guardrail, putting the finishing touches to the building’s life safety equipment systems, resolving a grade conflict at the Electrical Switch Room on W. 2nd Street, providing the ventilation for the boilers and emergency generators required by building code, better supporting the scrim screening the building’s windows from sunlight, fine-tuning the installation of security cameras, correcting the static pressure of the underfloor mechanical system on the sixth floor, and sanding and sealing the mesquite flooring on all levels. In other developments, a permit is now being sought to allow the installation of the rooftop photovoltaic array to proceed; and the contractor, consultants and City of Austin personnel are composing a comprehensive punch list for the exterior of the building. Punch lists, of course, are documents prepared near the end of a construction project listing work not conforming to contract specifications that the contractor must complete prior to final payment. The contract specifications also call for the contractor and his sub-contractors to provide training to Library Facilities Services staff members on operating all the myriad building systems installed in the New Central Library. The first segment of this extensive training regimen will be initiated on January 26 and January 27, with automated lighting controls instructions to be provided by Encelium Technologies, Inc. over the course of both the day and the following night. Library Facilities Services and Public Works staff members have reviewed the 90% complete Cookbook Café construction documents submitted by the future tenant’s architects and provided comments and corrections. The Library Department’s Facilities Process Manager is currently working with the Office of Real Estate Services and the Law Department to finalize the New Central Library café lease agreement with the Elm Group so that their representatives may secure a construction permit for tenant improvements and complete the finish out work by the time Austin’s new main library is ready to throw open its doors to the public.

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