Golden Gate Valley Branch Library Reopening October 15

Landmark Carnegie library receives historic restoration

For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

October 4, 2011

Golden Gate Valley Branch Library Reopening October 15

Landmark Carnegie library receives historic restoration

San Francisco Public Library will celebrate the reopening of the historic Golden Gate Valley Branch Library on Saturday, October 15. The 93-year-old library building underwent a sensitive 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 1801 Green Street at Octavia. 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 Mohammed Nuru and other city and state officials.

“The Golden Gate Valley Branch Library is a true historic pillar for its Cow Hollow neighborhood and residents will be thrilled to see its return to service, with a new addition and elevator for accessibility, and the careful refurbishment of its beautiful ornate ceiling and terra cotta facade,” said City Librarian Luis Herrera. “Now this neighborhood can enjoy state-of-the-art library services in a historically restored yet technologically updated and green library that will serve its community long into the future.”

The Golden Gate Valley library was the ninth branch library established in San Francisco. The brick and terra cotta Beaux-Arts structure was designed in the shape of a basilica by local architect Ernest Coxhead and opened in 1918. Though Carnegie grant funds paid for the building, City funds were used for the furnishings.

“Through the Branch Library Improvement Program, DPW ensures that every library is safe and sustainable,” commented Mohammed Nuru, Interim Director of the Department of Public Works. “With the Golden Gate Valley branch, we added hidden earthquake bracing to maintain the historic grandeur of the building while providing solar panels for long term environmental sustainability.”

The renovation was undertaken by the architecture team of Paulett Taggart Architects and Tom Eliot Fisch, which preserved the historic beauty while bringing the library into the 21st century with energy conservation features and seismic safety and accessibility upgrades. Highlights of the renovation include new accessible restrooms, new furnishings and computers, a new designated teen area and an updated children’s area with an interactive play-to-learn component, and the refurbishment of the downstairs community meeting room. To meet LEED silver certification, the library’s sustainable features include an array of photovoltaic solar panels on the roof, a new energy efficient heating system and efficient low-flow water fixtures.

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 Golden Gate Valley 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 or (415) 626-7512, ext.107.

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

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