Flavorwire

The Most Beautiful Public Libraries in the US

[Editor’s note: Flavorwire is counting down our most popular features of 2010. This post comes in at position number 7It was originally published November 22, 2010.] Most roundups of beautiful libraries focus on what’s inside. And while we love vaulted ceilings and overflowing bookshelves as much as the next guy, we’d argue that the facades are just as important. From futuristic steel-and-glass structures to early American structures steeped in design history, here are ten public libraries that prove that free books and internet access don’t need to be the only reason you visit these architectural gems.


Berkeley Public Library. Designed by James Plachek


The Central Library of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System. Designed by Marcel Breuer


Harold Washington Library, Chicago, Illinois. Designed by Hammond, Beeby and Babka


Hennepin County Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Designed by César Pelli


The Richard Riordan Central Library, Los Angeles, California. Designed by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue


The McKim Building of the Boston Public Library. Designed by McKim, Mead, and White


New York Public Library. Designed by Carrère and Hastings


Parkway Central Library, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Renovation design by Moshe Safdie and Associates


Salt Lake City Public Library. Designed by Moshe Safdie and Associates and VCBO Architecture


Seattle Central Library. Designed by Rem Koolhaas of OMA and and Joshua Prince-Ramus of REX