In September the Chicago Public Library opened the West Town branch, the newest of 54 new or renovated branches since Mayor Richard Daley took office in 1989. The eco-friendly library, which occupies 13,300 square feet of the landmark Goldblatt's Building, replaced two smaller branches. "It's one of my favorites because it's found space," Ruth Lednicer, director of marketing for the Chicago Public Library, said regarding West Town's new home, which used to be office space for city agencies. "It's cheery and fun with a great children's area." It also has 61 computer terminals in a loftlike space with exposed ducts and soft but bright lighting suspended from futuristic-looking air vents. The large, open reading and computing area separates the shelves on the west side and the equally spacious children's section on the east. The kids area includes six tables and four small benches and study desks that look out onto Chicago Avenue. Up for LEED certification, the U.S. government's green stamp of approval, West Town features floors made of recycled rubber, and the lobby's marble floor is from the original Goldblatt's department store. With hundreds of new library cards issued in the first few weeks, according to Lednicer, the library is bringing new life to an old landmark.
Visit: West Town Library, 1625 W. Chicago Ave., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday or go to chipublib.org.
Find West Town Library and other Chicago-area libraries on our interactive library map.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times