The new North Beach Branch Library opened on May 10, representing the 24th and final branch library to be built or remodeled through the Branch Library Improvement Program, primarily funded by a $105.9 million, voter-backed bond measure approved by voters in 2000. The new library is located at 850 Columbus Ave. at the corner of Lombard Street. The triangular-shaped building, which features two stories with double-height reading rooms and windows opening to views of Coit Tower, the spires of Saints Peter and Paul Church and other North Beach neighborhood icons, was designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects. The project, first initiated in 2003, was managed by us and included a community master planning process. The 8,500 square-foot building includes a community room; 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. The library is 60 percent larger than the former branch. The building was designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification or greater from the U.S. Green Building Council. Among the environmentally conscious features of the new library are an 11.5-kilowatt solar array which will help to power the building, and 11,350 square feet of insulation made from recycled denim, equating to approximately 4,500 pairs of jeans. The total budget was $14.5 million, with additional funding provided by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. The library has a unique public art feature – a sound sculpture around the exterior perimeter of the building. Sonic Dreamscape, created by world-renowned sound artist Bill Fontana, features characteristic neighborhood sounds captured from poetry readings, cafés, markets, sea lions, playgrounds, foghorns and more.
San Francisco Public Works
City Hall, Room 348
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102