Recorded thought is our chief heritage from the past.
The most lasting legacy we can leave to the future.
Books are the most enduring monument of man’s achievements.
Only through books can civilization become cumulative.
Frederick M. Crunden – Head Librarian, Saint Louis
This is the engraved text on the lintel of the main entrance
A hundred years ago, a project begun by Mr. Crunden was completed. A million dollar donation from Andrew Carnegie was matched by the people of Saint Louis. The Central Library of Saint Louis opened in 1912. Two and a half years ago the library closed for renovation. After $70M it opened to the public on Sunday afternoon. Your ace blogger was there to bring you the entire story.
The librarians withdrew the collection, primarily to the old Famous Barr warehouse off of forty. The construction workers came in and gutted the building, but also carefully preserved the building’s architectural heritage. When the collection was eventually restored, including the illuminated manuscripts of the special collection, it found the 21st Century waiting for it. Wall-to-wall Wi-Fi, interactive light tables and computers galore stood ready to welcome the collection home. The workmen were complemented by craftsmen who rejuvenated the centenarian architectural detail. The end result is magnificent.
I took a lot of photographs, but the ones that I’ve decided to share here are dominated with shots that are looking up. The restoration of the original ceilings is fantastic. I have more to share, so look for further photos in the future.