Coral Gables Branch Library
Coordinates: The Coral Gables Branch Library is a branch of the Miami-Dade Public Library system, located at 3443 Segovia Street in Coral Gables, Florida. It was established by the Coral Gables Woman's Club in 1927.
The library opened its doors in November 1927, mainly by the efforts of Mrs. Don Peabody, then president of the women's club. The library opened in a room of the Douglas Entrance with 300 books and furniture provided by The Coral Gables Corporation, courtesy of George Merrick, the founder of the city of Coral Gables. By 1937, the library had 9,000 volumes, outgrew the original site, and moved into the Coral Gables Woman's Club location at 1001 East Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables, Florida. The librarian at that time was Mrs. Cyrus Kitchen, although she only held the post for about six months, due to ill health. Upon her resignation, Miss Margaret Beaton (from Flagler Memorial Library) became the librarian.
The library is supported by the City of Coral Gables, and by 1949 had over 27,000 volumes on its shelves. During the mid 1950s the library contained 35,000 volumes and 5,000 pamphlets. Thus, the Woman's Club, working together with the city of Coral Gables, steered the library to be operated by the city because it was becoming too big a responsibility for the club. The city accepted the proposal and officially, in July, 1954, the Coral Gables Library became a municipally operated library.
Architecture and current building
By the late 1960s the library needed a bigger venue. Therefore, groundbreaking began in 1968 for the 28,000 square-foot-structure built to replace the smaller former library structure on Ponce de Leon Boulevard, and the building was inaugurated in 1969. This building on University Drive and Segovia Street (Coral Gables, FL) is still home to the library. In 1966 the library became part of the Miami-Dade Public Library system.
The current library building was built from native keystone, quarried in the Florida Keys. The building's Spanish influence is apparent, conforming to Coral Gables' guidelines for Mediterranean design. It was designed by Edward T. Rempe, AIA, and his associate, Wray G. Succop, AIA. The library's interior is a blend of Spanish and contemporary influence. There is an impressive mural created by artist Katherine (Kay) Pancoast in the Margaret M. Beaton Room inside the Coral Gables Branch Library. The mural, made from ceramic tiles, depict major landmarks throughout the city.
In 2010, the building was designated a city historic landmark.