San Diego’s old central library closes, new location will open in September

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library1The bad news is the San Diego Central Library in downtown has closed its doors permanently. The good news? The new, seven-story, domed replacement will open its doors in a bit longer than three months from the closing. The striking monument to the written word is located at 330 Park Blvd., near Petco Park, and will be open to the public starting on September  28, 2013.

As our city’s main branch of its library system, 820 E St. has been the destination for generations of schoolchildren, scholars, and recreational readers. Opened in 1954, the two-story structure has served San Diego both literally and with literature.

Despite its heavy use and usefulness, a larger library for the rapidly growing downtown has been a goal for quite some time. Margaret Kazmer, once deputy library director, recalled starting to plan a replacement main facility as long ago as 1983.

The new addition to San Diego’s skyline, featuring an entrance topped with a metallic dome, provides a magnitude more room. Enough room for the displaying of items and exhibits not seen in many years. Because of the shortage of space in the old building many interesting and popular collections had to be put into storage. Now they will be available to the public once again.library2

One exciting exhibit is what is thought to comprise one of the largest baseball memorabilia collections in the United States. There may be only one collection on display, the Cypres Collection of the Sports Museum of Los Angeles, that is more comprehensive. In addition, a donation of minor league baseball items is expected soon. Deborah Barrow, Library Director, appreciates the synergy of being able to show the library’s extensive baseball items in the new location, with Petco Park nearby.

Library personnel started to pack the books and their office spaces on Monday, June 10. It is expected to take several weeks before unpacking in the new building.

As for the three months and more the main branch is closed? The good news is the city library system has 34 other branches to browse through.

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