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Downtown San Diego starts next chapter with new central library

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With its grand opening September 28, 2013, nearly three years and $180 million later, the new central library in downtown San Diego is an architectural marvel. Its nine stories and nearly 500,000 square feet of space are as impressive as the unique design features that make up the library.

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The special features include an outdoor cafe, 350-seat auditorium, three-story reading room with breath taking views of the bay front, technology center, rare books archive, a Genealogy section, art gallery (providing museum-quality art with no entry fee), a special events space (booked a year out already) and a charter high school for approximately 500 students.

The library space doubled from the prior location, and tripled the number of reader seats. Meeting spaces, including study and meeting rooms, also increased significantly in number with the new library.

Yet with all this space, there is a remarkable sense of intimacy and tranquility that provides the proper atmosphere for learning, reading, and knowledge-sharing.

Be sure to put a guided tour of the library on your list of to-do's when visiting San Diego. Tours need to be booked in advance and spots are available about 6 - 8 weeks out currently.

Parking is available in the new underground parking structure, with up to two hours of free validation from the library. Be sure to check library hours in advance.