Press Release - Detail
Contact:  Chanda Temple, Director of Public Relations
Birmingham Public Library                   
Phone: (205) 444-9279 (cell)

The Late Birmingham City Council President Maxine Herring Parker to Be Remembered During May 22 Grand Reopening of Inglenook Library
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ­– (May 16 , 2014) – After temporarily closing in fall 2013 for renovations, the Inglenook Library will reopen on Thursday, May 22, 2014 with a grand reopening ceremony at 8:30 a.m.  The address is 4100 40th Terrace North.

In 2013, the Birmingham City Council approved $405,414 in library bond money to go toward renovations. The late Council President Maxine Herring Parker, whose district included Inglenook, obtained funding for the upgrade. She passed away on Nov. 12, 2013. Her son, Councilor William A. Parker, now represents her district. He is scheduled to attend the May 22 ceremony, which will include the unveiling of a plaque that dedicates the renovation in her memory.

Birmingham Chief of Staff Erskine R. Faush, Jr., Birmingham Public Library Director Renee Blalock, Birmingham Public Library Associate Director Angela Fisher Hall, Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Craig Witherspoon and library board members are also slated to attend. The event if open to the public.

The renovations make the building not only compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, but also showcase designs that capture the building’s fire house past and tout its service as a neighborhood library.

The building was used as a fire station from 1927 to 1978. In 1979, it was turned into a library. The Inglenook branch hasn’t seen a makeover since 1995, which is when a new roof, new carpet, a new heating and air conditioning system and more were installed.

The 2013 renovations include:
  • The circulation desk and part of the building’s exterior wrapped in 100-year-old reclaimed long leaf pine from an Alabama timber mill
  • An updated Children’s Department with new window seats
  • A new heating and air conditioning system
  • A new parking lot
  • An updated computer area
  • Landscaping
  • A lower circulation counter to meet the needs of all patrons
A courtyard next to the Children’s DepartmentBricks surrounding interior columns were removed to open up space on the main floor. A bay window, which once served as the garage entrance for the fire truck, provides a panoramic view of a new patio seating area. A drop ceiling was removed to expose an overhead hose tower that firefighters used to hang hoses to dry. Large amounts of sunlight now flow through the tower’s new skylights. A downstairs storage area was cleared out to make way for a staff break room. On the wall leading to the basement will be a quote from Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero: “A library is an arsenal of liberty.’’ HOSKINS Architecture and CROSS BUILDING CO. worked on the library project.

The Inglenook Library is one of 19 locations within the Birmingham Public Library system. The library’s phone number is 205-849-8739.

The attached photos include an interior view of the tower, the exterior view of the new library and an exterior view of the building when it was a fire station.
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