While libraries struggle to remain relevant in the face of instant information available on the Internet, even if you’re not a book borrower or researcher, the downtown main branch of the Cleveland Public Library can be a nice place to visit. It is part of The Mall (on the southern end), and is located on Superior Avenue and East 3rd. The complex consists of the historic Main Library, the Louis Stokes Wing, and the Eastman Reading Garden that is situated between the two buildings.
The Cleveland library system itself was founded in 1869 as a school district library. Over the years, it outgrew its space, and with the visionary plan of the Mall complex in the early 1900s, it was decided that location would be favorable for a newer, larger library. The Main Library was built in the Classical Revival style, designed by the firm of Walker and Weeks, and it was opened in 1923. The adjacent Louis Stokes Building, opened in 1997, is named for Cleveland native Louis Stokes, who, in 1968, became the first African-American elected to the U.S. Congress from Ohio. Both buildings occupy nearly 530,000 square feet of space.
If you are looking for a place to visit for some peace and quiet, and maybe to broaden your mind in the progress, take a trip to the main branch of the Cleveland Public Library. It’s priceless.
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