Burton Barr Central Library, Phoenix

4.6
The Burton Barr Central Library is the central library of Phoenix, Arizona. It is the flagship location and administrative headquarters for the Phoenix Public Library.HistoryDWL Architects and Will Bruder teamed to design the building. It incorporates a Buckminster Fuller tensegrity structure in its roof and featured motorized louvers on its south face for improved sun control (they never worked properly and were disconnected years ago). The library is physically oriented for a display of sunlight alignment on equinox days.The building was funded by a 1988 bond issue and replaced a nearby 1950s-era facility on McDowell Road that is now part of the Phoenix Art Museum. The location opened in May 1995 and is 280,000 square feet (26,000 m²) on five stories. Most of the fifth floor is an open, 1acre reading room. The entire building is connected by a five-floor glass-and-steel elevator and stairwell known as the "Crystal Canyon." It was named in honor of Burton Barr, the Republican Major Leader in the Arizona House of Representatives from 1966 to 1986. There are over 705,000 items in the collection.In 2008, the library was chosen as one of the Phoenix Points of Pride. In 2010, the library received a LEED Existing Buildings Silver 2.0 designation. The library was awarded in the "existing buildings" category, rather than new construction, as LEED was not created until 1998, three years after the facility was opened.
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Burton Barr Central Library Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
202 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • If you are a fan of interesting architecture, the Burton Barr is a must visit. Unfortunately there was a flood there earlier in the year and the library is currently closed for renovations and updates...  more »
  • It was (is) the main or central library of the City of Phoenix but due to water damage earlier in the year, it is currently closed for repairs. If there is a projected completion date for the repairs,...  more »
  • Due to severe water and structural damage, this main library is currently closed. I'm not aware that a date has been set for its reopening.  more »
Google
  • Great library with a beautiful view of the city. The selection of books and cds is excellent. It's quite likely one of the most beautifully designed libraries in the country. The biggest problem here is the menacing characters that hand around this area and in the library itself. It's not fun to be hit up for money and yelled at by drug addicts and the mentally ill and also to deal with safety issues because a lot of the people standing outside look like gang members and ex-cons. Also some of the staff members could stand to be a little more helpful and to improve their customer service skills. Thanks.
  • This has to be the best public library in Phoenix, the only thing is that it got water damage last year and it has been closed ever since. I cant wait till they open it up again.
  • This is a really cool library with lots of space and events all of the time. The staff is great. The only downside is the vagrancy in and around the library itself, city planning could help address. Used it as a resource through college and university. Love the building, location and most everything about it except aforementioned downside.
  • The biggest issue is their transients. So beware where you sit, some of the homeless can leave the seats... messy. Seen it a few times that they rent out a room and fall asleep so if you're looking to rent one they might be used up. Even as a male it's weird going into the restroom or the top floor and being close to where they linger. Other than that the staff is knowledgeable and the library is a great resource.
  • The library is Magnificently beautiful!!! It has BOOKS! Many many books to choose from! This is every reader's dream place and a place for every child to learn. I love it! The fifth floor is my favorite for those magnificent window structures that captures my eyes and heart every single time! There is a place for every age there! It is a place one should visit upon coming to Phoenix. The greatest thing to do if you are coming from Sky Harbor Airport ( with little luggage) and you have a few hours to spare before your hotel or airbnb check-in, hop on the train train there and take it straight to the library! That was the coolest thing I got to do on my initial visit, and because I came in the early morn, it was very very quiet. And if you up for a quiet spot to relax, you can hop on the train 1850 N Central, and walk over to Central Arts Plaza to the little park tucked away in the corner. Makes for a relaxing time and a beautiful pictures if you like taking pictures. Check it out!!!

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