New North Beach Branch Library to Open May 10
New North Beach Branch Library to Open May 10The new North Beach Branch Library will open to the public on May 10, 2014, following a community celebration and ribbon cutting, starting at 1:00 p.m. The beautiful, light filled, soaring library with double height reading rooms, designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects of San Francisco, is located at 850 Columbus at the corner of Columbus and Lombard. The current North Beach Branch, located at 2000 Mason Street, will be closed on March 22 at 6:00 p.m. in order to prepare the collections and equipment for the move to the new library. The new North Beach Branch, which is the last of 24 libraries to be remodeled or rebuilt (with one new library in Mission Bay) under the Branch Library Improvement Program (2000), is seismically strong, sustainable and fully accessible, and 60 percent larger than the current North Beach Branch Library. It was designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification or greater from the U.S. Green Building Council. The project was managed by the Department of Public Works. The 8,500 square-foot, two-story building includes a community room with after-hours access for neighborhood meetings; a larger children’s area and new teen space; additional public computers; new furniture and equipment; and an expanded collection of books, DVDs, and CDs, including more materials in multiple languages to meet the community’s needs. The North Beach library has a unique public art feature – a sound sculpture around the exterior perimeter of the building, through which the sounds of North Beach will be broadcast through waterproof speakers. Sonic Dreamscape, created by world renowned sound artist Bill Fontana, will feature characteristic neighborhood sounds, from poetry readings, cafés, markets, sea lions, playgrounds, foghorns and more. This extraordinary piece was commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission. The new library was part of a collaboration and master plan with the Recreation and Park Department’s Joe DiMaggio playground, which is currently being renovated as part of the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond. That project is anticipated to be completed in the spring of 2015.