Presidio Branch Library Reopening March 26

Landmark Carnegie Library Receives Historic Restoration


Media Contact:
Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282

March 8, 2011

Presidio Branch Library Reopening March 26

Landmark Carnegie Library Receives Historic Restoration

San Francisco Public Library will celebrate the reopening of the restored Presidio Branch Library on Saturday, March 26. The 90-year-old landmark library building underwent a sensitive historic restoration and renovation that was 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 3150 Sacramento Street, between Baker and Lyon 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, Mayor Edwin Lee, Supervisor Mark Farrell, Department of Public Works Director Ed Reiskin and other city and state officials.

“The neighborhood will be thrilled to see this magnificent and historic library return to service. From the elegant, light filled reading room with its arched window frames to the inviting and expansive children’s room, this library is a treasure to its community,” said City Librarian Luis Herrera. “Now all residents of this neighborhood can enjoy modern library resources in a technologically updated branch that will serve its community for generations to come.”

The Presidio Branch is one of the city’s most historic libraries. With library service established in 1898, Presidio was the sixth branch of the San Francisco Public Library system. The current building is an Italian-Renaissance-style landmark building that was completed in 1921, designed by G. Albert Lansburgh and funded by Andrew Carnegie.

The completed historic renovation includes a restoration of the building’s beautiful, ornate exterior terra cotta façade and stairs. Interior renovation highlights include new pendant light fixtures that fit with the historic grandeur of the building, refurbished original wood shelving, and the designation of a new teen area in the library. Other features of the project include an interactive learning area in the children’s room and the refurbishment of the downstairs community meeting room. The addition of new restrooms, more computers and more functional and ergonomic staff work areas were also part of this project.

“It’s an honor to be part of this celebration in each community, watching the residents’ return to their neighborhood library,” said Ed Reiskin, DPW Director. “Their faces are full of joy as they see how beautiful the library has become. What they don’t see, but is just as important, is that the building is now functional, accessible, energy efficient and built to last.”

The renovation was designed by Field Paoli and Joseph Chow & Associates. The project conformed to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation & Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings.

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 Presidio 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 Presidio Library Campaign, please contact Mary Abler with Friends of the San Francisco Public Library at or (415) 626-7512, ext.107.

For more information about the Presidio Branch Library’s opening celebration, please call (415) 557-4277, or visit

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