St. Louis Libraries

Compton Branch of the St. Louis Public Library

Compton Branch of the St. Louis Public Library

Compton Film Library was erected in 1957 and opened at 1624 Locust Street in 1958. 

Besides serving as the location for SLPL’s film collection, space in the building was devoted to other collections and behind the scenes work such as a bindery, book repairs, and bookmobile services.

As it stands today. Compton Branch is more of a storage, internal working branch and research facility that houses SLPL’s extensive historical periodicals, journal collections, newspapers, folios, patents, trademarks, and local & federal government information. Materials stored at Compton are retrieved and brought to Central Library for patrons use upon request.

Central Express Branch of the St. Louis Public Library

Central Express Branch of the St. Louis Public Library

Central Express, as the name implies, is one of three mini-branches of the system, along with Charing Cross and Marketplace.

First of all, if this isn't the most beautiful section of downtown, it's at least in the top five. The Chemical building, the recently renovated Arcade, the modern, sleek beauty at Locust and 8th Street and of course the Old Post Office building itself.

Carpenter Branch of the St. Louis Public Library

Carpenter Branch of the St. Louis Public Library

The library was named for George Oliver Carpenter, a successful president of a lead and oil company during St. Louis' age of industry. In 1925, while president of the St. Louis Public Library Board, Carpenter announced his plans to donate land for the branch. The Board unanimously resolved to name it in his honor. Carpenter lived in an Italianate-Mediterranean style mansion at 12 Portland Place.

Julia Davis Branch of the St. Louis Public Library

Julia Davis Branch of the St. Louis Public Library

The branch is unique in that it was the first library to be named in honor of a living person. Julia Davis was an educator and researcher of African-American history. Davis lived to 102 and dedicated her life to teaching and awareness of African-American cultural contributions. She taught for 48 years in the St. Louis Public Schools, 35 of those years at Simmons Elementary in the Ville Neighborhood...one of her students was Chuck Berry.  Then, on the day she retired in 1961 she established the Julia Davis Fund at the St Louis Public Library, designed for the purchase of books, manuscripts, etc. related to the African-American contribution to world culture.

Kingshighway Branch of the St. Louis Public Library

Kingshighway Branch of the St. Louis Public Library

The branch closed and underwent a full renovation in early 2000 and reopened on May 5, 2001. The most unique characteristic of this branch is likely its distinctive round structure complimented by the large picture windows facing Kingshighway and Southwest Avenue that allow for an abundance of natural light. It is a nice design that utilizes the atypical property lines to it's advantage.

Schlafly Branch of the St. Louis Public Library

Schlafly Branch of the St. Louis Public Library

The Central West End was formerly served by the Lashly Branch which opened in July, 1968 at 4537 West Pine Boulevard. The building was designed by the William B. Ittner, Inc. architectural firm and Talisman, Inc. served as the chief contractor. The building was named in memory of Jacob Mark Lashly, a St. Louis lawyer and library leader who served 26 years on the St. Louis Public Library Board of Directors (source).

The Central Library Renovation

The Central Library Renovation

Every once in awhile an amazing transformation occurs.  Our city molts and sheds its skin constantly revealing something new and utterly exciting.  The recent $70M renovation of the Central Library, the crowned jewel of our amazing library system, is nothing short of stunning.  This library has been etched into my urban experience.  I have memories of the old library which was magnificent, if not sometimes a little drab in feel. 

The renovation is an inspiration of what good design and execution can bring.  The old touches have been meticulously restored.  I am so happy it still feels like the old library.  However, the amazing use of modern lighting and new arrangements are nothing short of perfect.