Central Library Update

November 9, 2015 by Kate Harrington

Austin’s new Central Library is now approximately one year out from opening its doors, and the outline of the new library’s six floors is taking shape on West Cesar Chavez Street.

Throughout the fall work has moved forward on the roof and roof garden, and also on putting up exterior walls and making them weathertight. Windows are being installed and stone is being placed on the outside of the building.

Austin Central Library Construction
New Central Library Construction as of 11-9-15 (image via City of Austin)

The $120 million project, designed by architects Lake/Flato and Shepley Bulfinch, is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2016, with a grand opening slated for November of 2016.

The new library will include public gathering spaces, gallery space, exhibits, and reading rooms in addition to its books and technology. A library café, which will front West Second Street, is also planned, and the City has said a search is underway for a restauranteur to operate that café. CBRE is in charge of leasing the café space for the City.

“The Central Library and café are in the center of a tremendous amount of new construction activity along West Second Street, including the Seaholm project, North Shore mixed-use development, 500 West Second Street and the proposed Austin Proper Hotel. We are optimistic that we will find the ideal restaurant partner for this landmark project and the City of Austin,” said Eric DeJernett, CBRE senior vice president.

The Second Street Bridge that spans Shoal Creek next to the new library has also made progress, and now has some impressive spans in place. That bridge will act as an extension of the existing Second St., bringing it farther west and connecting all the new redevelopment sites with the rest of downtown.

2nd Street Bridge Shoal Creek Austin Construction
2nd Street Bridge Construction as of 11-9-15 (image via City of Austin)
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Written by Kate Harrington

Kate is a former reporter, most recently for the Austin Business Journal, where she covered real estate, economic development and transportation. Since 2010 she has been running Thumbtack Communications. Thumbtack provides writing, editing and marketing services. Before moving to Austin in 2002 Kate lived in her native New England, which she still visits often to escape the Texas heat.