Thursday, November 24, 2011

lovely libraries

The city has lots of little neighbourhood branches, light-filled architectural gems with arched windows, high ceilings, wooden shelves and ornate details.  Whatever time of day I stopped in to rest my feet and do a bit of reading, they were always quietly humming with life and community.

The first branch was opened in 1888 in a Mission storefront two blocks from it's present location on Bartlett Street.

The Richmond branch was the first of seven city libraries to be built with a Carnegie grant in 1914.  It is not too far from the Wing Lee Bakery where you can get a delicious egg custard steamed bun for only 80 cents.

The Sunset branch was built in 1918 on the site of an old barn used by young boys for target practice.  Locals were happy when it was torn down and replaced with a library.

The oldest existing library building, opened in 1909, is the Park branch in Haight Ashbury, nestled among the Victorian splendor of Page Street.  Look up at the painting on the ceiling and you will see that the forecast in here is always bright blue sky and puffy white clouds.

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