May 11, 2018

Community Centerpieces | Year in Architecture 2017

Designed to preserve its natural habitat within a wooded site overlooking Walnut Creek, the 43,339 square foot Seguin Public Library, TX, blends local limestone and brick with exposed wood roof decking to enhance the building’s position within heritage trees. CREDITS: 720 Design, PGAL, architects; Dana Hoff Photography, photo.


The Elmhurst Community Library, Queens Library, NY, envelops a monumental central stair in the main reading room that serves as a focal architectural feature and invites patrons up to the second floor. Two 25′-high structural glass cubes embedded in the building’s terra cotta façade represent the concept of transparency. CREDITS: Marpillero Pollak Architects, architect, with Stalco Construction; Taigo Itadani, photo.


Anchoring a community devastated in 2011 by a tornado that destroyed one-third of the city, the new Joplin Public Library, MO, serves as a FEMA-rated storm shelter. Collection spaces under a sloping roof create tall volumes connecting the interior to the exterior. CREDITS: OPN Architects and Sapp Design, architect; ©Gayle Babcock—Architectural Imageworks, LLC, photo.


Doubling the amount of public space offered by its predecessor, the Grove City Library, Southwest Public Libraries, OH, covers 48,000 square feet. The new space houses an expanded children’s department and teen room; quiet study space; and more public computers and meeting rooms. CREDITS: HBM Architects with Braun & Steidl Architects, architect; Tonda McKay, photo.


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Bette-Lee Fox About Bette-Lee Fox

Bette-Lee Fox ( is Managing Editor, Library Journal.

Celebrating her 46th year with Library Journal, Bette-Lee also edits LJ’s Video Reviews column, six times a year Romance column, and e-original Romance reviews, which post weekly as LJ Xpress Reviews.

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