San Francisco Public Library

Renovated Anza Branch Library to Reopen June 18

Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

May 24, 2011

Renovated Anza Branch Library to Reopen June 18

Library renovation includes new addition for ADA access and beautiful restoration of building features

San Francisco Public Library will celebrate the reopening of a neighborhood treasure, the newly renovated Anza  Branch Library, on Saturday, June 18. Located at 550 37th Avenue, the Anza renovation is the 19th completed project in the City’s Branch Library Improvement Program.

The grand reopening celebration will kick off with Chinese lion dancers and other musical entertainment at the renovated branch. Festivities begin at 1 p.m. Library services will start at 2 p.m.  A ribbon cutting ceremony is planned with Mayor Edwin Lee, City Librarian Luis Herrera, Supervisor Eric Mar, Department of Public Works Director Ed Reiskin and other city and state officials.

“The renovation has carefully preserved the charming features including the beautiful stenciled ceiling of this historic branch in the outer Richmond neighborhood, while the updating has created room for new technology, ADA accessibility improvements and seismic upgrades that create a truly 21st century library,” said City Librarian Luis Herrera. “We are looking forward to reopening the doors and letting the community back in to this neighborhood landmark.”

The library now includes an extensive addition at the side and rear of the branch, creating space for accessibility improvements and a new elevator and restrooms. The community meeting room was revamped with new windows, flooring and added space to support technology classes and programs for all ages. The branch also has a sizeable dedicated children’s room and new space designated for teens, plus an expansive reading area. New landscaping now surrounds the building, including a bucolic courtyard off the community room. All the improvements were designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification or greater by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The renovation of this building was designed by the Library Design Studio of the City’s Bureau of Architecture, Department of Public Works. The Anza Branch was originally the 17th branch established in the San Francisco Public Library system. It was built on the site of the old Lafayette School; architect John Reid, Jr., designed and landscaped the building and it was dedicated on April 10, 1932.

“Not only has the Anza Branch Library been beautifully restored, it is now seismically safe, functional, and a model of environmental sustainability,” said Ed Reiskin, Director of the Department of Public Works.

Anza is the 19th library project to be completed under the Branch Library Improvement Program, which allows for the renovation of 16 branch libraries and the construction of eight new library buildings around the City.

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 Richmond District Libraries 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 campaign, please contact Mary Abler at or (415) 626-7512, ext. 107. For more information about the Anza Branch Library’s opening celebration, please call (415) 557-4277, or visit

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