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New downtown library prompts street extension in preparation for October opening

West Avenue now intersects with West César Chavez

Six-story contemporary building wrapped by bands of what looks like corten steel alternating with supports and windows. Plus limestone.
Downtown Central Library (rendering)
New Central Library, Austin Public Library/Facebook

Note: This story has been updated to include the library’s opening date.

In anticipation of the long-awaited opening of downtown’s new library, the city has extended a road in downtown Austin, Community Impact reported Friday.

West Avenue has now been extended to intersect with West César Chavez Street—where a traffic signal was also added—to create more access to the future library. The building’s official address is 710 West César Chavez Street, which it faces, but the extension of West Avenue will allow more access.

Other improvements made to create more access to the still-unopened building include construction of a new bridge over Shoal Creek at Second Street and the extension of Second Street from Shoal Creek to West Avenue, Community Impact reported.

The opening of the library, which broke ground four years ago, has been delayed and received funding increases numerous times since it was approved in 2006 with $90 million bond vote, has postponed its opening date. The city is still vague on that date, which in theory will be sometime this fall. Update: A Tuesday story on the KUT website reported that the much-anticipated opening will be Oct. 28.

Designed by renowned regional architecture firm Lake/Flato, along with national design firm Shepley Bullfinch, the 198,000-square-foot building is meant to a significant public space, and ambitious plans for it include a six-story, sunlight-filled atrium, surrounded by collections, event space, reading porches overlooking the lake and Shoal Creek, and a cookbook-themed coffee shop, along with a number of sustainability-oriented features.

West Avenue extended as city of Austin prepares for New Central Library opening [CI]

Take A Tour Of Austin's Overdue Central Library [KUT]