After the flood of 2008 Cedar Rapids downtown was devastated by water damage. The old library was ruined and now, after lots of hard work, houses the corporate headquarters of the insurance company True North. The library was scaled down and functioning with several satellite locations until now. The brand new Cedar Rapids Public Library is set to be completed within a few weeks! The public grand opening will be on August 24th. I had the pleasure to photograph the new building for Knutson Construction a few weeks ago to get some in progress images. The building was designed by OPN Architects and had a total project cost of 48 million dollars.
This library is huge with 94,000 square feet of space! The building is Leed certified and is expected to meet the platinum performance level. It supports a beautiful rooftop garden with seating areas for readers to enjoy the libraries massive new book collection while taking in the sites from above downtown Cedar Rapids. There is a local coffee shop called Brewed Awakenings that is set to operate the library coffee shop and service the drive though window for readers on the go.
There is even a 200 person theater in the library where they will hold book readings, concerts, plays and many other local events! The Cedar Rapids Public Library when completed is said to have the possibility to be one of the best libraries in the entire country. After 5 years of waiting, the people of Cedar Rapids are celebrating the revival and restoration of downtown with the newest addition being their brand new library.