Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Cleveland Public Library

Photo from

The Cleveland Public Library’s web site states its high-reaching mission: “To be the best urban library system in the country by providing access to the worldwide information that people and organizations need in a timely, convenient, and equitable manner.” Their vision: “The People's University" is to be the learning place for a diverse community, inspiring people of all ages with the love of books and reading, advancing the pursuit of knowledge, and enhancing the quality of life for all who use the Library.”

Reading Room photo by the author

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.
The Eastman Reading Garden was designed by the Olin Partnership and includes sculptures by Maya Lin and Tom Otterness. It is named in honor of Linda Anne Eastman, who served the Cleveland Public Library for almost fifty years as Vice-Librarian from 1896 to 1918, and as Director from 1918 until her retirement in 1938. A complete history of the library can be found here.

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.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Cleveland information, here.


Anonymous said...

Love your blog!!

Back in March & April when you did a couple of enteries on the Ameritrust Building I had an uneasy feeling that there was a load of corruption involved in that mess. Now we have an FBI raid and Russo & DiMora are in question. You may have a good follow up post in the making, my friend.

newshutr said...

Love this blog. That's why I gave it a Tawwdy, which is a blogger award. Head to my blog, and see the post WOW...A Taawdy to claim it.