If you’re a fan of libraries, mid century architecture, or both, this blog post is for you! My family fits into the category of “library superfans.” It’s such a fun outing to explore new “worlds” through books, plus it’s a great bonding experience, and of course it’s FREE! New books always bring up new conversations in our households, usually with subjects that don’t normally come up in our day-to-day. I have a toddler at home, so these conversation starters are so helpful in his development, mind expansion and learning.
The long-anticipated Belle Isle location of the Metropolitan Library System will re-open to the public this weekend after a full renovation. The $7.8 million renovation and expansion was paid for through the Better Streets, Safer City Bond Issue that was passed by voters in 2017 and a generous $950,000 donation from Gordon and LaVerne Taylor. They provided for an expansion of 12,000 square feet, plus a full renovation, bringing the total remodeled square footage to 32,000.
Celebrate the reopening this Friday, April 8 with the ribbon cutting at 3:30 p.m., then the celebration continues into Saturday with activities for the whole family. Full opening weekend activities include:
Friday, April 8:
3:30pm – Ribbon Cutting with Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt
4pm – Casey and Minna Folk Concert
Refreshments will be served until closing (6pm).
Saturday, April 9:
9am – 3pm – Outdoor Games Extravaganza
10:30 – 11:15am – Lucas Ross Family Concert
2 – 3pm – Sam Kahre Cello Concert
2 – 4pm – Jigsaw Puzzle Swap
MakerSpace Tours, Library Scavenger Hunt
Children’s Take and Make Crafts, Photobooth
The 59-year-old library’s signature Mid-Century Modern look, circular design, stone, and glass was thoughtfully incorporated into the building’s expansion and renovation by architectural firm ADG. The library was originally designed by architect Jack Mills with Turnbull & Mills in the early 1960s. The project contractor is Wynn Construction, the same contractor that built the library in 1963.
*Belle Isle Library photos provided by ADG, Architect of Record
Kirsten Holder is a transplant from Michigan but calls the “land that is grand” her home. She graduated from Oklahoma City University and is passionate about the arts, community development and small business. She is the senior project manager for MetroFamily Magazine, and lives in a historic pocket in OKC with her young son Jimmy, husband Andrew and fur-child Clifford.