Building Series: The Eccentric

21 October, 2021

Kansas City Library

Where in the world can you drive into a giant bookshelf to park your car? The answer? In Kansas City, Missouri on a visit to the central branch of the city’s public library!

Remodeled from the historic First National Bank building, the library opened its doors in 2004, complete with a brand-new parking deck. The deck, like most such structures, lacked visual appeal. So, in an attempt to give it more pizzazz, the city reached out to the community for ideas.
Enthusiastic Kansas City readers came up with titles for what came to be known as “The Community Bookshelf” project. The Kansas City Public Library Board of Trustees and City Council announced the final book selections on March 16, 2004. 

The Design
Today, “The Giant Bookshelf” it is a major downtown landmark. The wall is covered with 22 colorful book spines that measure about 25’ x 9’ and are composed of signboard mylar laid over concrete panels and an aluminum substructure.
The choices run the gamut from “Invisible Man” and “A Tale of Two Cities” to “Charlotte’s Web” and “Lord of the Rings.” The bookshelf even includes well-loved children’s books such as “Goodnight Moon” and “Green Eggs and Ham.”

We hope you’ll join us on Thursday, November 18th for our next installment If you have a building, you’d like to nominate for coverage this link will take you to a page to make your nomination which can be anonymous, if you prefer.

The Eccentric

Name and location: Kansas City Library, Kansas City, MO
Style: Mimetic
Year completed: 2014
Architect: Unknown