The new Cedar Rapids Public Library doesn’t open until later this month, but I had the opportunity to tour the building during an assignment for the Corridor Business Journal and you can get a sneak peek here.
Indoor space feels much larger than that at the former library, which was flooded in 2008, but it’s the outdoor space that most entices me.
A reading terrace overlooks Greene Square Park and the green living/learning roof provides spectacular views of Cedar Rapids. Two cisterns capture rainwater and condensation from air conditioning units that will be used to water the rooftop’s sedum, a low-maintenance groundcover.
All library books and other materials were purchased new and rooms in the new building can be reserved, for the most part, for free. I’m also excited about the three treadmill stations that will allow people to walk while using the library’s computers.
More than 10,000 visitors are expected for the library’s grand opening on Saturday, Aug. 24. Events begin with a party in Greene Square Park at 9 a.m., followed by a 10 a.m. ribbon cutting. A time capsule dedication is slated for 1 p.m. and “Regeneration,” the red sculpture by metal artist Albert Paley, will be dedicated at 3 p.m.
See photos from my tour here and read more about the library in the Corridor Business Journal. (Photos (c) Corridor Business Journal and HomegrownIowan.)
Thanks for posting these! I can’t wait til the library opens.
Thank you, Bruce. I think people will be surprised to see how truly unique the new library is!
I’m originally from Cedar Rapids, & return visit several times a year. We moved out of state 1 1/2 years ago. I’m so glad the new main library is opening! My aunt sent me info on FB about the new grand opening. Having lived there most of my life I’ve seen & worked many of the floods. When the flood of 1993 came I thought OMG, we’ve never seen it this bad & hope not to have it happen again. Then there was “The Perfect Storm” & the Flood of 2008 happened. My house wasn’t affected, but everything else I’d know & cherished all my life was destroyed. I couldn’t believe it. My new (at that time) beautiful main CR library was gone. All the old research books that had been put on top shelves (as the flood water wouldn’t go that high) were now gone!! I’d researched some of my family history in those books & documents. Some of those books were really old & they were one of kind editions. Some were books where individuals had taken the time & pains to research & write down their families & their histories & recorded stories handed down from their ancestors. I’m glad to see the Cedar Rapids Main Library will now have a newer hopefully, now safe from future floods!! The new Green Roof looks fantastic. I look forward to visiting the library the next time I visit!
I know this was posted a while ago, but when I was at the library yesterday (for the first time), I didn’t see the treadmills… Based on what I can see out the window there, it’s just a bunch of couches in that spot. Did they change their minds about that? I can’t imagine it would be very cheap for the accidental injury insurance. All-in-all, I was actually pretty disheartened by the new library. I’ll be sticking with the Ladd branch, even tho down town is closer.
The treadmills were moved from their original spot, but they’re still on the second floor. I still need to check out the Ladd branch!