Plaque Dedication Celebrates Downtown Library Project

On May 1, the Arlington Public Library came one step closer to opening the new George W. Hawkes Downtown Library with a plaque dedication for the new building. The plaque, which is located at library’s south entrance, recognizes Arlington’s Mayor, City Council and departmental leadership, as well as the project’s architectural and construction teams. The Downtown Library is scheduled to open to the public on June 16.

Although the building itself is complete, the Downtown Library project is still in the final stages of completion. Outdoor landscaping was in progress when attendees began to arrive, but the two-story lobby offered a bright and airy welcome to the library’s first visitors. Mayor Jeff Williams and the Arlington City Council attended the dedication. Representatives of library support organizations, including the Library Advisory Board, the Friends and Foundation of the Arlington Public Library, and the Capital Campaign Committee, were also present.

“Libraries are not falling by the wayside here in Arlington,” said Director of Libraries Yoko Matsumoto. “This new building is a reality because of passionate support we’ve received throughout the City.”

Dewberry, the Library’s architecture firm, and Byrne Construction Services, the construction manager, also attended the dedication. Attendees learned about the construction process with a time-lapse video taken of the construction site. Watch that video here:

After Ms. Matsumoto’s remarks, she invited guests to the library’s public spaces for the first time. Mayor Williams and Council members brought a ceremonial cart of books from the lobby to the first floor Living Room. These books are the first of more than 200,000 items that will be on the Downtown Library’s shelves beginning this summer.

Library staff offered building tours to conclude the dedication. Although the library’s furniture and fixtures are yet to be installed, guests got a sneak peek at all three floors.

Lunch for this event was donated by  Tiba Grill, Cooper Street Bakery and Nothing Bundt Cakes.

Next steps for the Downtown Library include shelving installations, furniture delivery, and moving books into the building. Everyone can get behind-the-scenes previews of the new building by following the Library on social media. The Downtown Library is scheduled to open to the public on June 16.