Pratt City Library
The Pratt City Library (or Birmingham Public Library Pratt City Branch) is a branch of the Birmingham Public Library located at 1100 Hibernian Street on the corner of Dugan Avenue in the North Pratt neighborhood of Pratt City. It occupies the southwest corner of One Pratt Park.
A 3,500 square foot library building was constructed for $60,000 in 1963 on the site of the former city hall. The branch was temporarily housed at Pratt City Elementary School during construction. The new facility, built with a steel frame, concrete slab floors and brick walls, was dedicated on August 18 of that year. The interior was decorated with cream-colored brick and muted green furnishings.
A new library opened at the present site on Dugan Avenue on September 12, 1993. The 8,140 square foot facility was designed by Davis Architects and constructed for $650,000. The library houses the Pratt City Historical Archives with displays of local artifacts and its children's library features a mock streetcar and other reminders of Pratt City's history. The library also has a 75-seat community meeting room and a conference room available by reservation.
The library was heavily damaged during the April 2011 tornado outbreak. Librarians removed most of the materials before they were lost to the elements. Those that had been exposed to water were cleaned and dried by a professional contractor. It was initially presumed that the structure itself was unsalvageable, but engineering studies determined that much of the building could be safely restored and reused.
Fusion Architecture of Baton Rouge, Louisiana was selected by Mayor William Bell's office to provide construction documents for restoration and renovations, including a new safe room for severe weather. The $120,000 contract was rejected by the Birmingham City Council after Valerie Abbott asked why Davis Architects and other local firms weren't considered for the project. Herrington Architects completed the design work for the renovated library, which was dedicated on December 19, 2013.
- "Pratt City Branch Library to Swing Doors Wide Sunday" (August 16, 1963) The Birmingham News - via Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections
- Ruisi, Anne (June 1, 2011) "Pratt City library, archive items survive storm." The Birmingham News
- Kelley, Michael (May 2, 2011) "Alabama libraries report heavy damage from recent storms" Library Journal
- Wolfson, Hannah (October 18, 2011) "Plans on hold to rebuild Birmingham library branch destroyed by tornado." The Birmingham News
- Prewitt, Nathan T. (February 10, 2014) "'Like a phoenix': Pratt City Library reopens with ceremony, librarian survivor recalls storm." The Birmingham News