Why it matters: The 272,000 square-foot concrete block was designed by Brutalist architect Marcel Breuer. Love it or hate it, it's one of Atlanta’s most prominent structures, and the centerpiece of the library system (and its recent $275 million system-wide renovation frenzy).
What's inside: Funded by a 2008 bond referendum, the top-to-bottom renovation includes a new central staircase and atrium under a skylight and exterior windows to brighten the space.
- The children’s section has been moved from the basement to the fourth floor and galleries were added outside the refurbished auditorium and lobby.
- An event center takes up the fifth floor and includes an auditorium with floor-to-ceiling garage-style windows that open to an outdoor courtyard, plus demo and commercial kitchens.
- Smaller meeting rooms and nooks abound. And yes, new bathrooms.
More than books: Officials also want to hire a social worker to help coordinate social services for library patrons, some of whom are homeless. They also hope to lease under-construction space on the sixth and seventh floor to businesses or nonprofits, or for library staff.
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