A Public Library Reborn

Posted By The Liberties / 19th July / Liberties Life, Love The Liberties / 0 Comments

The wait is almost up. After a lengthy refurbishment that saw this important amenity out of use for over 5 years, work has finally been completed on Kevin Street Library.

Kevin Street Library first opened to the public in 1904.  As a flagship branch of Dublin City’s library network it stood as a cornerstone for the surrounding neighborhoods it served, connecting people to each other and to their community. Designed by the then-City Architect CJ McCarthy, the Library was built on a site adjacent to the Institute of Science & Technology (College of Technology) – a building replaced in the 1960’s by the Dublin Institute of Technology Engineering Faculty – and the first librarian J.P Whelan stocked books to the suit the students needs.

While the building appears unassuming from the street it boasts beautiful reading rooms that have been hidden from public view for many years. Public access was completely closed in June 2013 when the Library shut for urgent repair work. At that stage, a much more extensive re-imagining of the building was proposed and that project has now reached completion, securing the Library for new generations. Among the work undertaken:

  • Specialist repairs to the roof and structure
  • Conservation of original architectural features
  • Restoration of original wooden shelving and flooring
  • Increased public space for study, exhibitions, community groups & children’s library (In part, facilitated by the construction of a new floor and mezzanine/gallery)
  • Universal accessibility to all areas
  • Public restrooms

Dublin City Libraries staff have this week been showcasing the new venue through a series of open days, as systems in the building are tested and refined. It beautiful features and interiors have now been lavishly restored and set off with handsome contemporary design features.

The Library will open fully to the public shortly.

Images sourced on Twitter via @Moli_Museum and @MarshsLibrary

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