[PHOTOS] Daily RFT Finally Gets to See Refurbished Central Library for Ourselves

The restoration also cleaned up some of the library's best architectural features, such as the info desk in the Great Hall, where a century's worth of patrons had to go to request materials from the stacks and, in the process, nearly wore through the marble floor:


Two fireplaces, including this one in what's now the Teen Room. (The other is in the Stedman Room, the architectural library.) They worked back in 1912. They don't anymore:


Hundred-year-old bookcases built by the library's carpentry department (now defunct):


The figures on top of the grill in front of the library's front door (they're owls sitting on lamps, two symbols of wisdom for the price of one):


All the overhead lighting in the second-floor reading rooms has been replaced. In some rooms, fluorescent lighting had been installed in the 1950s. It was bright, but also ugly. In other rooms, nobody had bothered to use bulbs that were actually compatible with the lamps or replace them when they burned out. These chandeliers, which hang in the Fine Arts Room, are a facsimile of the originals from 1912.


The bathrooms, probably to the surprise of no one, were not deemed worthy of saving and have been completely replaced.

Location Info


St. Louis Public Library, Central Branch

1301 Olive St., St. Louis, MO

Category: General

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