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February 2, 2011
San Francisco’s oldest branch library receives historic restoration
San Francisco Public Library celebrates the reopening of the renovated Park Branch Library on Saturday, Feb. 26. The 101-year-old library, which first opened its doors in 1909, has been returned to its neo-classical glory with a sensitive renovation that was also designed and built to meet silver certification standards or greater, under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.
The grand reopening celebration kicks off with Chinese lion dancers at the renovated branch at 1833 Page Street, between Cole and Shrader streets. Festivities begin at 1 p.m. Library services start at 2 p.m. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held with City Librarian Luis Herrera, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, Department of Public Works Director Ed Reiskin and other city and state officials.
“It is a great pleasure to reopen this historic branch library that is so well loved by its diverse neighborhood community. Park Branch Library has provided more than a century of service as our oldest branch and will continue to do so for generations to come,” said City Librarian Luis Herrera. “The sensitive renovation means the library that can now offer improved accessibility for all users, updated technology to meet 21st century library needs, and dedicated space for children, teens and adults to enjoy all the services that San Francisco Public Library provides.”
The Park Branch Library’s interior remodel includes new energy-efficient lighting that reflects the historic period, improved electrical and ventilation operations, new sustainable linoleum flooring and a new energy-efficient heating system. The lower-level meeting room at the branch was reconfigured with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment, new lights and flooring. Two new accessible restrooms were added downstairs and a family restroom was renovated upstairs. In the main room, the historic wooden tables and chairs were refinished, historic perimeter wood shelving was refurbished and new shelving was added along with a beautiful painted ceiling.
The remodel was designed by Field Paoli and Joseph Chow & Associates with Page & Turnbull Inc., serving as historic preservation consultants. The total project cost was approximately $2.9 million. Construction was completed on time and within budget. The original two-story neoclassical brick and terracotta library building was designed by the McDougall Brothers.
We’re proud to have managed the restoration of the oldest library in the City,” commented Department of Public Works Director Ed Reiskin. “The building is not only beautifully refurbished, but now it is sustainable, efficient and ready to serve the public another 100 years.”
Over the past two years, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library has been working in partnership with neighborhood residents and communities to raise funds, awareness and support for the branch improvements. Friends, together with the Park Library Campaign Committee, will contribute approximately $500,000 towards the branch renovations to pay for furnishings, fixtures and equipment—expenses not covered by the bond. For more information on how to support the Park Library Campaign, please contact Mary Abler with Friends of the San Francisco Public Library at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 626-7512, ext.107.
For more information about the Park Branch Library’s opening celebration, please call (415) 557-4277, or visit www.sfpl.org.
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