The ceremony for the new Central Library The real heroes are the citizens of the community, without whom we would not be here today," stated Edward M. Szynaka, director of public libraries, at the close of the Central Library Groundbreaking Celebration.
Mari Evans, internationally known writer, musician and educator, is one of this nation"s significant poets. In 2002, she was a Grammy Award nominee for her work with Harry Belafonte on "A Long Road to Freedom."
Sept. 27, 2002, marked the culmination of a seven-year campaign to begin Central Library"s restructuring into the 21st century. The 1916 classic revival edifice that anchors the north end of Veteran"s Mall is officially closed until the transformation is completed. Architect Paul Cret"s original structure will retain its elegance within the new design by Woollen Molzan and Partners, which will create a new, six-story, 267,318-square-foot, steel, glass and stainless steel enclosed building. With an attached 350-seat auditorium, public park and convenient parking, Central Library retains its place at the center of civic and cultural engagement. Setting previous contention aside, Indianapolis City-County Council President Dr. Beurt SerVaas declared, "I want to lift my hat to Ed Szynaka. He dares to build libraries and dares to get people to read. He is my hero. He set, and stayed, a course." "What a great, exciting day," Mayor Bart Peterson enthused. "You can tell by the crowd the importance of this project." With 700 seats nearly all filled and standing-room only in the tent on the mall, the 10 a.m. ceremony became an event unto itself with the appearance of former Mayor William H. Hudnut and the photographing, by Daryl Jones, of the crowd massed on the mall to produce a 6-foot print to replicate the original ceremonial photograph of nearly a century ago. "Free public libraries are essential to democracy," said author Scott Russell Sanders in his eloquent keynote address, during which he revealed his heartwarming journey as a reader cum author. The Rev. Father Boniface Hardin delivered "A Plea for a Public Library," and J. Albert Smith Jr., campaign chair, invited everyone to contribute toward the final $5 million to meet the Lilly Endowment challenge grant toward full funding of the public-private initiative. The Stratford Brass Quintet"s fanfare and Gina Nelson"s "Star Spangled Banner" set the stage for master of ceremonies Tom Cochrun to balance gravity with levity during this momentous event. For more information,www.imcpl.org
or call 269-5254.