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8 Over-the-Top Libraries

Featured — By Rachel Greenberg on January 4, 2012 at 3:23 pm
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5. Geisel Library – La Jolla, California

Image: Omar Omar/Flickr

Whether you love it or hate it, University of California San Diego’s library is pretty unforgettable. Designed by brutalist architect William Pereira in the 1960s, the 8 story structure stands 110 feet above the campus below. Along with a unique design, the library also has a unique name. It was dedicated to Theodor Suess Geisel, or Dr. Suess, who lived in San Diego and contributed funds to the library.

Image: San Diego Shooter/Flickr

6. Trinity College Library – Dublin, Ireland

Image: Trinity Digital Exhibition/Flickr

The Trinity College Library is the largest library in Ireland and has many branches and buildings. The most incredible however is the Long room in the Old Library. The massive two story hall contains thousands of historical texts with classic library ladders to reach them. It is also home to the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript from around 800 that is considered one of Ireland’s national treasures and is on permanent display in the library.

Image: A Little Coffee with my Cream and Sugar/Flickr

Images: Brett Jordan/ec-jpr/Flickr

7. State Law Library of Iowa- Des Moines, Iowa

Image: jfravel/Flickr

This magnificent Renaissance-style library was built in 1884 within the Iowa State Capitol Building. Everything about the library is over-the-top and grand – marble walls and floors, classic chandelier, a five-story atrium and two circular cast iron stars that extend from the ground floor all the way up.

Image: jfravel/Flickr

8. José Vasconcelos Library – Mexico City, Mexico

Image: * CliNKer */Flickr

When former president of Mexico Vicente Fox inaugurated the José Vasconcelos Library in May of 2006, he praised its innovative design and advanced technology. Although he spoke highly of the library, his enthusiasm for the construction was short lived. In March of 2007 the library was forced to shut down after multiple safety and construction issues were found in the building. It took 22 months to complete the repairs, and the library was finally open to the public again in 2008.

Images: PVCG/aurelio.asiain/Flickr

Named for a controversial Mexican philosopher, the library cost almost 100 million dollars to build. And aside from its modular, new age design, the library’s most distinguishing feature is the gigantic sculpture that is hung in the entrance of the library named Ballena (Whale).

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Tags: des moines, Dublin, geisel, library, Mexico City, minsk, Rio de Janeiro, Seattle, UCSD, university of california san diego, vatican city

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