The former Hemphill-Wells Department Store in San Angelo, Texas, a downtown building that had been vacant for years, was artfully re-purposed by Holzman Moss Bottino Architects into a state-of–the art public library. The transformed space is now a vibrant center for learning within the community.
While the footprint of the building remained unchanged, an undulating glass wall was introduced at street level to welcome library users. A café, also at street level, invites pedestrians to relax and enjoy the community within.
Adjacent to the entry, part of the first floor was cut away to reveal the children’s reading room below, Playful activities are open to view and fantastic stories are enabled to soar! Beyond the entrance, a grand stair is carved through the building, leading upward to an event space, widely used by the community, on the third floor. Finally and best of all the wide open space of the department store comes alive as an inviting atmosphere to read, to study, and to collaborate.