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“This library rates as a great attraction” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Central Public Library

Central Public Library
1301 Olive St, Saint Louis, MO 63103 (Downtown)
+1 314 241 2288
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Ranked #13 of 159 Attractions in Saint Louis
Type: Libraries, Cultural
Attraction details
St. Louis
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“This library rates as a great attraction”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

The Central Branch of the STL public library re-opened in December 2012 after being closed for over a year.

I came here last week to see what kind of renovation you get for $70 Million. Well, it's pretty impressive. Anyone with an interest in historic architecture will want to see what they've done to the place. Much of the enjoyment comes from looking up - all the ceilings have been restored to their original glory and they are impressive. The huge stained glass windows that adorn the staircases beside the Grand Hall are also just gorgeous. The modern lighted shelves are also very cool.

The Grand Hall is breathtakingly beautiful - one of the most impressive rooms in St. Louis. My favorite spot, though, was the St. Louis room, which has about 20 very unique historical photos around the room. Be sure and get a printed guide that describes each picture (ask the librarian - they are in a rack in the middle of the room). I could probably go back to this room and hang out for hours looking over some of the hundreds of books that tell the city's story. I love this kind of stuff.

Anyway, the restoration is amazing, outside and in. It's a must see for locals, but also worth a stop for tourists. One of the library docents told me there are several tours daily of the building (on the hour, mid-day as I recall). I'll definitely be back.

Visited January 2013
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62 reviews from our community

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English first
mo
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Incredibly fancy and ornate Public Library, it is an architectural gem!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

Incredibly fancy and ornate Public Library, there are so many wonderful details! It is really hard to believe that this was built for the public an renovated for the public. It looks like it was designed for royalty! The staff are knowledgeable and welcoming. The genealogy department has a tom of useful information. It is well worth the visit to see the ornate ceilings, fancy metal work,original stained glass, alabaster lamps, antique furniture..I could go on and on. The renovation alone was 70 million dollars! This is in my opinion of the best preserved and fancy pieces or architect in St. Louis, and it's free and open to the public. We walked there at night from our hotel, but there is street parking. There is a church across the street to the East that is worth checking out as well if you like historic churches

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“New Renovation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

The multi-million dollar renovation of the Library includes antique photos of St. Louis and maps of the city pre-1900. There is a plethora of fascinating information for people who can look beyond the face of their cell phone!

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Beautiful new space.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

The newly renovated space is a great experience. The old fantastic architectural hallmarks of the space are still intact - great stained glass windows, marble, and tall ceilings. The ceiling work has been beautifully restored. The rooms have been reorganized to open them up and invite browsing. The shelves are well lit. we haven't been seated in the auditorium yet but it's a nice addition to the space. The only negative I have is that the new shelving lacks any labeling apart from the dewey decimal system. Since I am not fluent in dewey, I find myself frequently having to ask for help. Thankfully, there are plenty of librarians available.
Even if you're not looking to use this library as your home base for lending (as we do) it's a great architectural beauty. Walking through definitely reminds you how grandeur can be blended with function.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Fabulous!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

I attended the grand reopening, and was so proud of this local gem. The collections are beautifully displayed, and the upgraded facilities are state of the art.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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