Burton Barr Central Library, Phoenix

4.7
#35 of 127 in Things to do in Phoenix
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
189 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • August 6, 2017
    Good service. staff capaz.libros in several languages and varied subjects. I have about a year no.la visited by today's technology day... but when my children were small we had great time at that local
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  • July 23, 2017
    The Phoenix public library is just north of downtown near the art museum and has free public parking. The top floor has a large reading room with great views of downtown and interesting ocular windows...  more »
  • July 20, 2017
    Many varied lectures, performances, craft sessions, displays and exhibits are put on at this well-regarded center in Phoenix. There is plenty of parking, signage is excellent and the programs on offer...  more »
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  • June 11, 2017
    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.
  • March 4, 2017
    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!!!
  • April 3, 2017
    Huge library! I ended up asking for help from 4 separate librarians for different things and all were kind and helpful, walking me to the section I needed rather than just pointing, acknowledging when they weren't sure about something but still trying to help... Only thing is they could really use a map/signage/directory. 5 floors is a lot of territory.
  • April 4, 2017
    This place is HUGE with tons of books and things to do. As a small business owner, I enjoyed coming here for networking meetings and bringing my laptop to do work. There are a lot of homeless people. They never bothered me, but it's a little different if you're a first time visitor.
  • July 10, 2017
    Beautiful library. Check out the desk spaces on the top floor!

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