Birmingham Central Library
The Birmingham Central Library, completed in 1984, is the primary location for the Birmingham Public Library. It is connected to the former main library building, now called the Linn-Henley Research Library, by an elevated crosswalk over Richard Arrington, Jr Boulevard North. It occupies half of the small block between Park Place and 7th Avenue North with a fenced surface parking lot on the 22nd Street side of the block.
A 1977 bond issue provided approximately $9 million for construction of a new central library. As the board considered an even larger project, another bond referendum failed in 1979. In 1980 the board hired Morris/Aubrey of Houston, Texas to evaluate the possibility of purchasing and renovating the downtown flagship store of the Loveman's chain, which had announced its closing.
Ultimately the board to decided on a new structure connected to the older library. Morris/Aubrey partnered with KPS Group, Inc. to design the crisply modern structure. It features a multi-story atrium piercing the roof and jutting into the sky on the southwest corner. Another central skylight illuminates a bank of escalators from the ground floor to the fourth floor gallery and offices. The exterior is clad in Indiana limestone to match its older sibling. The Champion Construction Company was the general contractor. A grand opening celebration was held on September 15-16, 1984 with a parade that featured giant puppets, a dragon, marching bands, the Birmingham Stallions cheerleaders, Wally "Famous" Amos, and costumed children.
- Shook, Phil H. (April 3, 1980) "The Loveman's years: Curtain closing on lifetime of memories" Birmingham News - via Birmingham Rewound
- Sides, Rochelle (September 1984) "Celebrating the Past, Reflecting the Future" Birmingham Artline. Vol. 1, No. 6
 External links
- Birmingham Public Library website