San Diego set to open iconic Central Library
Library designed with hidden surprises
Last Updated: 75 days ago
SAN DIEGO - San Diegans will get their first chance to walk inside the new multi-million dollar Central Library this weekend.
10News was given a sneak peek Wednesday at some of the bells and whistles that make the iconic building stand out. Speaking of whistles, the signature metal dome does just that.
"I can't tell you which song it's playing but it's a symphony," said architect Art Castro. "And it's always different depending on the time of the day."
Castro was one of the architects behind San Diego's new Central Library, its metal dome and the nine floors underneath it.
"It has a lot of little surprises, little pop outs, places to be discovered," he said.
There is a "Stairway to Somewhere," which actually goes nowhere except your imagination; there is the teens' only section; a three-story atrium; a section dedicated to baseball and the "Pelican's Perch," a small patio that juts out from the building providing a view of San Diego Bay and the library below.
There are also about 900,000 books. More than 2,000 people are expected at the library every day. More than 5.6 million people visited San Diego libraries last year.
"We actually have more people coming in now that we have the Internet because they need help with electronic material," said supervising librarian Robyn Gage.
The Central Library replaces the aging facility, which may be turned into a homeless shelter.
However, the approximately $180 million price tag is too steep, according to Richard Rider, who is with the San Diego Tax Fighters.
"It results in a library that's going to take $2.5 million more a year in operating costs to run," said Rider, who argued that the old facility worked just fine.
"I think there's a lot of 'we need to have a better library than Seattle,'" added Rider.
San Diego Interim Mayor Todd Gloria disagreed.
"In fact, we are a big city," Gloria said. "We should do big things."
The library has an open house on Saturday and will open officially for business Monday.
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