The historic Hosmer Library in south Minneapolis will reopen Thursday after a yearlong renovation.
The library was built in 1916 in a Carnegie building in the Central neighborhood. The changes include larger children’s and teen areas relocated to the front of the building and preservation work on a large skylight and wood windows. The project cost was $4.4 million, with the design by architect Leo A Daly.
An official reopening celebration with a ribbon-cutting and remarks from Hennepin County officials, library staff and neighbors is set for Aug. 19.
“For over 100 years, Hosmer Library has been providing library service to our residents,” said County Commissioner Angela Conley. “Now that the renovation is complete, that service tradition continues in a re-imagined space. I’m looking forward to celebrating with the community.”
While the building retains its two-story layout, the entryway has been expanded, increasing the sense of openness and connectivity between the main and lower levels, according to a library news release. The children’s and teen areas have more open space for collaborative work, studying space and hands-on learning and activity areas.
A central corridor with access to computers, library materials and meeting rooms runs through to the back of the building, which is furnished with lounge seating and additional computer workstations for quieter activities. The five new meeting rooms each have audiovisual capabilities, with space for groups of all sizes.
Restrooms were upgraded for federal disability compliance, energy-efficient LED lighting was added, and wireless connectivity was improved throughout the building. An urban garden on the northeast side of the library has seating for patrons to enjoy the outdoors and native plantings.
The building’s historic character has been carefully retained, with contemporary finishes refreshing the traditional library, according to the news release.
The reopening ceremony will start at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the library at 347 E. 36th St. Following remarks, Kalpulli Ketzal Coatlicue will kick off the community celebration with a traditional Aztec dance performance. The library will remain open until 8 that evening.
Hosmer Library was the last of four Carnegie-funded libraries built in Minneapolis. One of 13 libraries developed under nationally known library director Gratia Countryman, the library is named for James K. Hosmer, who preceded her as director from 1892 to 1904. The library has received historic designation from the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.