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. It was named in honor of Burton Barr, the Republican Major Leader in the Arizona House of Representatives from 1966 to 1986. The library houses a collection of 1,000,000 volumes.HistoryThe 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.DesignThe design for the Burton Barr Central Library was a collaboration between DWL Architects and Will Bruder. The five-story building opened in May 1995 and is 280,000 square feet (26,000 m²). Vertical circulation through the building is facilitated by a central open core containing three high-speed elevators and a five-level grand staircase known as the "crystal canyon." The building incorporates a roof structure inspired by Buckminster Fuller's tensegrity structures and features shade sails on the north facade and motorized louvers on the south facade for improved sun control. An open, 1acre reading room comprises the fifth floor. A summer solstice celebration is held there annually, where the lighting effects are best observed. At solar noon, some of the roof skylights project circles of sunlight directly down the north-south midline axis of the library, with some reaching the ground floor lobby. Sunlight simultaneously washes the upper eastern and western walls of the fifth level.
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Burton Barr Central Library Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
202 reviews
Google
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
  • Can't wait until they finish all the repairs. Pretty cool when it's open.
  • 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.
  • Before it was closed, it was an airy, comfortable environment in which to read or get on the computer. There were plenty of computers with Internet access. On the first floor there was a deli.
  • One star for not showing your work time at Google map
  • 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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