Word About Town

A New Chapter

The Park City Library wraps up a sleek renovation without abandoning its original story line.

By Jane Gendron June 1, 2015 Published in the Summer/Fall 2015 issue of Park City Magazine

Niki chan photography 4 rhf0oz

It's a tale of old meets new. Quiet contemplation meets giggly excitement. State-of-the-art technology meets centuries-old collections. Our protagonist: the Park City Library (parkcitylibrary.org)—a beloved local character reinvented and reinvigorated after a yearlong, $9.6 million renovation. Yes, the “21st-century library” has arrived at 1255 Park Avenue, but fear not, bibliophiles: despite this landmark’s new look and services, the books aren’t going anywhere.

Some of the changes are obvious: the entryway coffee shop, walls in the teen/youth room made from snowboard and skateboard decks, and a new terrace. Other upgrades are subtler: the insulation, painstakingly applied to preserve the building’s original brick walls, and the high-efficiency boilers. There’s the techie glam of a digital media lab, complete with television studio capacity and 3D printers residing alongside the old library standbys—newspapers, magazines, books, music, videos, and the unique Park City historical collection.

Leading the state in its cutting-edge approach, the Park City Library is on the path to engaging a wide demographic of ages and stages. There are places of solitude: glassed-off reading areas, study rooms, and comfy quiet nooks. There are areas dedicated to community engagement: board room–size meeting spaces, conference rooms, and a 1,560-square-foot community space plus catering kitchen adjacent to the Jim Santy Auditorium. And there are places for fun: an expanded story-time and mountain-inspired play area for tots (and a family bathroom) and a teen/youth hub.

Longtime tenants Park City Cooperative Preschool (parkcitycoop.com) and the Park City Film Series (parkcityfilmseries.com) will again occupy spaces on the third floor of the building. And historic preservation—note the auditorium’s barrel-vault ceiling—was skillfully paired with building requirements dictated by seismic code and energy efficiency by Blalock & Partners architects; the project is on track for LEED certification.

What was once the local high school (built circa 1926) is still a place of learning, collaboration, and creativity for young, old, techie, traditional, and all the shades of Parkites in between. As Library Director Adriane Juarez puts it, this building is a genuine reflection of the Park City community: “It’s their building, their library. We just want to throw open the doors.” And so another chapter begins.

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