The Columbus Metropolitan Main Library campus in Downtown Columbus, Ohio was re-opened to the public on Saturday June 25th, following a 16-month renovation and improvement project. The project is part of the 2020 Vision Plan initiative of “building libraries to inspire reading, share resources, and connect people.” MKSK was part of a multi-discipline team led by GUND Partnership and Schooley Caldwell Associates to reimagine the Main Library campus to create a more open and inviting community centerpiece that energizes the surrounding downtown and Discovery District neighborhood.
The Original Carnegie Library was constructed in 1907. An expansion of the library was undertaken in the late 1980’s opening in 1991 with the purpose of high quality space for a large collection of books. The third major opening of the Library since 1907 does not increase the building footprint, but does increase the interior reading rooms, public gathering space and connection to an expanded outdoor Library campus. Transformational changes to the Library include the new, 3-story atrium and west façade of windows overlooking the new park plaza and topiary park.
The site plan seamlessly connects the Library to historic Topiary Park, a Columbus’ urban “gem” by removing the existing surface parking and creating the new Library Plaza east entrance. The created “library within a park” provides enhanced space for programming and community interaction and includes outdoor reading rooms, a stage for small outdoor performances and concerts, and an outdoor patio extension of the first floor reading room and Carnegie Café.
A new elevated formal lawn and refurbished Peter Pan Children’s Fountain enhances the historic Carnegie building entrance and establishes an even greater civic presence within the Discovery District neighborhood.
Opening day concert performance in Park plaza.
Park Plaza outdoor reading room with art installation “untitled” by Virginia Overton.
Library East Entry and Park Promenade
Reading room mounds engage children visiting the Library.
Congratulations to the Columbus Metropolitan Library and the design team on this new 21st century library for the Columbus community!