Central Library Grand Opening

This was originally published several months ago, so it may be out of date.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Central Library Grand Opening


Join us for the Central Library Grand Opening on Saturday, October 28 at 710 W. César Chávez St. There will be live music and fun for the kids until 6 PM. The Grand Opening celebration is free and open to the public. For more information call 512-974-7400 or visit library.austintexas.gov/central.

10 AM Grand Opening Festivities
Seaholm Lawn, 800 W. César Chávez St.
11 AM Remarks and Ribbon Cutting 
Corner of West Ave. and 2nd St.
1 PM Central Library open to the public
Central Library, 710 W. César Chávez St.
1–6 PM Temporary Tattoos, Legos and Video Games
Central Library, 3rd Floor Youth Areas
1 PM Pecan Street Brass
Central Library, 1st Floor Demo Area
2 PM Meet Artist Lance Letscher
Central Library, 2nd Floor Gallery
3 PM Christian Moeller Talk
Central Library, 1st Floor Demo Area
4:30 PM Austin Symphony Orchestra Woodwind Quintet
Central Library, 1st Floor Demo Area
6 PM Central Library will close

Facebook RSVP

Special Lecture with Caw Artist Christian Moeller at 3 PM
Art in Public Places invites you to attend a discussion with Caw internationally renowned artist Christian Moeller at 3 PM in the Demonstration Area on the first floor of the Central Library. Prominently hanging in the Central Library atrium, Caw is a 37-foot-tall kinetic piece that resembles a cuckoo clock, with a swinging pendulum.

West Avenue Closed from César Chávez St. to 3rd St. 7 AM–2 PM
West Ave. will be closed 7 AM to 2 PM from César Chávez St. to 3rd St. for the Grand Opening Ceremony. For the duration of the street closure, the Central Library parking lot will not be available to the general public; however, people with disabled placards or plates will be allowed access to the parking garage from 10 AM to 6 PM.

No Parking for the Grand Opening
This event could draw over 20,000 attendees. Please consider these Sustainable Transportation options.

Rideshare Drop-Off/Pick-Up
There will be a 5-minute drop-off/pick-up area along 3rd St. close to the intersection of West for rideshares and shuttles.

Capital Metro Free Park & Ride 12–5 PM
Capital Metro will provide free Park & Ride services from five Austin Public Library branches the day of the Grand Opening, offering riders the ability to avoid the hassle and fees that come with parking downtown. From 12 noon to 5 PM, riders can park at any of the five Library branches listed below, go inside to request their free Day Pass, and then hop on the bus downtown. Cap Metro staff will be downtown to help guide riders to the Central Library. For more information, visit capmetro.org/trytransit.

  1. Carver Branch | 1161 Angelina St. | Routes 2, 6
  2. Little Walnut Creek Branch | 835 West Rundberg Ln. | Routes 1, 801
  3. Pleasant Hill Branch | 211 East William Cannon Dr. | Routes 1, 801
  4. Recycled Reads Bookstore | 5335 Burnet Rd. | Routes 3, 803
  5. Ruiz Branch | 1600 Grove Blvd. | Routes 4, 20

Central Library
The Central Library provides access to knowledge through cutting-edge technology, extensive print and digital collections and dynamic and enriching programming for the entire community. The building is designed to adapt to new technology and the needs of future generations. It incorporates flexible and blended spaces that focus on the electronic delivery of information. Cozy areas for reading and shared learning rooms that can be used for classes and workshops, as well as expansive areas for community gatherings and events, have been incorporated into the design. Customers can read the latest bestseller or get some work done on their laptops while enjoying the fresh air and breathtaking view from the reading porches overlooking Shoal Creek and Lady Bird Lake.

Central Library Gallery Exhibit Lance Letscher: Books
The first exhibit, Lance Letscher: Books, features over 35 art pieces created by this Austinite and internationally renowned collage artist. It will be on display in the Central Library Gallery Saturday, October 28, 2017 through Sunday, January 7, 2018.

2nd Street Extension
2nd Street was designed to connect the downtown 2nd Street business district with the Seaholm Redevelopment. It is also intended to complement the civic space of the Central Library by creating a pedestrian-dominant and adaptable space that can function as a transportation corridor and also as a plaza for festivals. The landscape design along Second Street introduces more natural character than the typical Great Streets design in order to treat runoff with green infrastructure (rain gardens) and provide a seamless connection to the restored Shoal Creek plant and animal habitat.

Butterfly Bridge
The Second Street Bridge is a canted arch concept spanning approximately 160 ft. The overdeck supporting elements of the arch bridge are a pair of trapezoidal-shaped steel ribs each with a network arrangement of galvanized wire rope hangers connected above deck to the girder framing. The composite deck slab provides two 12 ft. traffic lanes. A central utility corridor between the box girders accommodates multiple utility lines which cross the bridge. Outrigger beams extend from the longitudinal box girder system and carry a curved pedestrian sidewalk, varying from 12 ft. to 14 ft. in width.

Art in Public Places
Through a lengthy selection and design process and in collaboration with many City partners, the Cultural Arts Division’s Art in Public Places program – part of the Economic Development Department – presents several new public artworks in the EcoDistrict. The monumental artwork gracing the vast atrium of the Central Library is by artist Christian Moeller and is entitled Caw. Art in Public Places (AIPP) program staff will be inside the Central Library building on the day of the Grand Opening to talk about the artwork.

Other works in the Seaholm EcoDistrict include artist Judd Graham’s art bollards along 2nd St. titled Array and his spinnable sculpture near the bridge, aptly titled Spin. Power Picket, by artists Nader Tehrani and Dan Gallagher, surrounds Austin Energy’s Seaholm substation and is Austin’s largest public art installation. Nearby is Sharon Engelstein’s huggable family group of sculptures entitled Crullers, which includes Big Mama Baby, Little Mama and Tall Solo, at the corner of 3rd St. and West Ave. Wander, a choose-your-own-adventure experience which starts at the Beacon sculpture outside the Central Library, was created by the artist team of Gannon, Wood, and Davidson who worked with local writers and illustrators.

Seaholm EcoDistrict
The Central Library is located in the heart of the Seaholm EcoDistrict, a 90-acre testing ground for innovative, sustainable redevelopment located on the southwestern edge of downtown. The EcoDistrict exhibits Austin’s commitment to sustainable urban living and contains green features that are good for the environment and people who live, work or play here. While visiting the Central Library, you can download the free Seaholm EcoDistrict self-guided audio tour to learn more about some of the key features that make the Seaholm EcoDistrict a special place.

Shoal Creek
Redevelopment of the Seaholm EcoDistrict presented an opportunity to improve the natural character of nearby Shoal Creek. The stream channel and landscape walls incorporate native plants adapted to our turbulent creek ecosystems. Constructed with local, natural materials, the Central Library’s lower landscape walls sit within the 100-year floodplain and are designed to withstand flooding and erosion. The stream bank improvements complement the building’s design and provide a model for sustainable plant and animal habitat restoration within Austin’s urban stream network.

The Library Foundation
The Library Foundation supports the Austin Public Library by increasing public awareness about the Library and its importance to the community, and by enhancing the Library’s collections, programs and facilities. The Library Foundation’s New Central Library Enhancement Campaign has raised over $2M to enhance the print and digital collections, technology, programming, arts and endowments at the Central Library. For more information visit austinlibrary.org.

Austin Public Library
The Austin Public Library provides knowledge, technology and inspiration to the Austin community. The Library is a hub of books and education, a meeting place of minds and an incubator of ideas. For more information visit library.austintexas.gov.