Calgary's Central Library (Where Gumbo was #346)


Gumbo was visiting Calgary's new Central Library, located on the eastern edge of downtown Calgary.  Congratulations to George G, PortMoresby and Jonathan L, who recognized where Gumbo was.

02 Downtown Calgary Library

01 Downtown Calgary Library

The new Central library opened about a year ago on Nov 1, 2018, replacing the existing library branch in Downtown Calgary.  As you can see, the exterior of the building uses textured and clear glass panes in an effective manner.

03 Downtown Calgary Library

The building is considered a new landmark in the city and has been a popular destination, with visitation so far at about 2,000,000 people per year.

13 Downtown Calgary Library

The city had begun planning for a new library in 2004 and contracted with architectural firms Snøhetta (an international/Norwegian firm) and Dialog (a Canadian firm).  Their design features an oval shape with a large central skylight (featured in our first puzzle clue) and a spacious central four-story atrium. 

08 Downtown Calgary Library

10 Downtown Calgary Library

11a Downtown Calgary Library

The building's entrance is one floor above street level because a light rail commuter train runs through its base. 

06 Downtown Calgary Library
(main library entrance)

The building's architecture has been popular and has won widespread recognition.   As you can see from these photos, there is extensive use of wood.

13a Downtown Calgary Library

Construction began in 2015 and the final cost was $245 million.  The building is 240,000 sq ft spread over five levels, and it contains 600,000 items.  The city has about $4 billion in debt so there was controversy about the high cost of the library (around $1,000/sq ft) compared to the costs of a standard commercial building (around $20-30/sq ft).  Admittedly there are a lot of enhancements to the library, but it comes with a staggering price tag.

24 Downtown Calgary Library

1% of the budget was dedicated to public art, including these strange and gigantic bobble-heads created by Christian Moeller...

04 Downtown Calgary Library

05 Downtown Calgary Library

As you enter you'll encounter a wall mural created by indigenous artists.,,,

07 Downtown Calgary Library

and up one flight of stairs is this interesting statue of a bison....

03 Downtown Calgary Library (31)
The library contains a performance hall and many conference rooms, most available for free to Calgary library card holders.  A popular feature of the library is the 12,000 sq foot Jocelyn Louise Anderson Children's library which is incorporated within the structure.

15 Downtown Calgary Library

16 Downtown Calgary Library

18 Downtown Calgary Library

The library has a popular teen center filled with activities and games, many desktop computers....

23 Downtown Calgary Library

There are many places people can work and read....

19 Downtown Calgary Library

20 Downtown Calgary Library

21 Downtown Calgary Library
There's even a special section featuring Calgary's story (southern Alberta history)....

25 Downtown Calgary Library

and there are special rotating art exhibits....

26 Downtown Calgary Library

27 Downtown Calgary Library

If you visit:

The Central Library is located at 800 3rd street SE, directly east of City Hall.

Admission is free, as are library cards for Calgary residents.  Public bike racks are located around the building and the C-Train stops nearby.  Parking is available in the City Hall parkade and parking lots around the library.  Free tours are available (contact library for their schedule), but the building is easy to explore on your own as I did.

Lastly, I leave you with a few views from the library windows featuring glimpses of downtown Calgary.

28 Downtown Calgary Library

29 Downtown Calgary Library


Images (27)

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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