Panels of glass used to construct the new five-story, Cesar Pelli–designed Minneapolis Central Library on Nicollet Mall. The 353,000–square–foot glass–wrapped structure features horizontal bands of Minnesota limestone and a distinctive, wing–like, 90–ton steel roof cantilever that juts out over the entrances on Hennepin Avenue and Nicollet Mall. Driving down Hennepin? Just try to keep your eyes on the road.
square blocks. Area in downtown Minneapolis containing the three buildings in world-renowned Pelli’s Minnesota portfolio—the new Central Library, Wells Fargo Center, and Gaviidae Common. The city has one of the most densely concentrated clusters of Pelli’s work in the world.
miles of shelving. If the individual shelves were lined up end to end, they would stretch from 300 Nicollet Mall to the southern edge of Northfield.
Number of fireplaces (this’ll sound more impressive when winter rolls around). Other amenities include a loft–like space for teens; a children’s library; 25 meeting rooms, including a 243–seat auditorium; and a main–level shop that is sure to create some buzz: Dunn Bros Coffee. Yes, you can take your skinny half–caf cappuccino into the library and curl up in one of 116 armchairs—just keep a lid on it.
Computers available for public use (up from 75 in the old building), with 16 more in a technology training center. Toting your own laptop? Tap the free wireless access.
Number of items in the Minneapolis Public Library’s holdings—per capita, the fourth largest public library collection in the United States. Nearly all of the collection is accessible to patrons, up from 15 percent in the old building.
Contributing editor Sandra Hoyt loves it when people say she’s bookish. Anyone?