Parkside Branch Library
- 1200 Taraval Street, San Francisco, California
- Current Name:
- Parkside Library
- Current Use:
- Current Condition:
- Not Listed
The Parkside Branch Library is one of two first branch libraries in San Francisco built after World War II to satisfy the needs of an increasing population in the western areas of the City. The Library is located on a slope of McCoppin Square, an open space bordering the busy Taraval Street shopping street, and in contrast to the City’s formal Carnegie Libraries, has a strong domestic character, with low slung horizontal massing, overhanging pitched roofs, and exposed beams. The library’s modern design with floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed brick walls on the inside and outside, a large fireplace, and an informal clubhouse-like atmosphere made it one of the “showcase“ libraries of the West. Many library professionals visited the facility and examined innovative features such as radiant heating under a quiet cork flooring, a protected reading terrace on the quiet side of the building, and a display case at the entrance for advertising and showcasing books and exhibits. Furniture such as Eames and Herrman Miller chairs and Knoll desks contributed to the comfortable and inviting feeling of this library. The building has recently been rehabilitated and expanded.
San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
Large east and north facing windows placed to maximize indirect natural, resulting in comfortable and attractive reading spaces. The Fireplace, lounge spaces and domestic feeling make the library feel welcoming and less intimidating than the formal Carnegie branches. The outdoor reading terrace was an important original feature connecting inside and out.
One of San Francisco’ earliest modern institutional buildings, it made elegant and attractive modern architecture accessible to the general public.