Burton Barr Central Library
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View of the North East corner of the building
|Location||1221 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85004
The Burton Barr Central Library is the central library of Phoenix, Arizona. It is the flagship location and administrative headquarters for the Phoenix Public Library. DWL Architects and Will Bruder teamed to design the building.
The building incorporates a Buckminster Fuller tensegrity structure in its roof and featured motorized louvers on its south face for improved sun control (they never worked properly and were disconnected years ago). The library is physically oriented for a display of sunlight alignment on equinox days.
The location opened in May 1995 and is 280,000 square feet (26,000 m²) on five stories. Most of the fifth floor is an open, 1-acre (0.40 ha) reading room. The entire building is connected by a five-floor glass-and-steel elevator and stairwell known as the "Crystal Canyon."
There are over 705,000 items in the collection. This building was funded by a 1988 bond issue and replaced a nearby 1950s-era facility on McDowell Road that is now part of the Phoenix Art Museum. The Central Library features 151 public computer terminals with Internet access, as well as WiFi capability.
In 2010, the library received a LEED Existing Buildings Silver 2.0 designation. The library was awarded in the "existing buildings" category, rather than new construction, as LEED was not created until 1998, three years after the facility was opened.
The library was named for longtime Arizona House majority leader Burton Barr, a popular local politician (also known for an unexpected defeat by Evan Mecham in the 1986 Republican gubernatorial primary election) who was a tireless fundraiser for the library.