|The Building: |
After spending 34 years in an 800 square foot storefront abutting the fire department, the Boulder Creek Branch of the Santa Cruz Public Library broke ground for a new, independent building. This project was made possible through a widespread community involvement: the unswerving efforts of former library chair member Jim Lee and Friend of the Library member Ann Gulliver kept alive the need for a new building; the generous donation of 1.3 acres of land by Robert Kuerzel; and the enthusiastic local volunteers who helped raise money and assisted in designing the building and grounds.
The community involvement was crucial. Architects Jeff Oberdorfer and Peter Calthorpe held three open community-design workshops thru which decisions were made regarding environmental impact, the use of natural lighting, and the division of interior space. The 4,600 square foot, cedar shake building is set amid redwood trees and sports an outdoor redwood deck and ampitheater. There is a children's reading room, a community meeting room, a fireplace, and even a hitching post if you need to ride in on horseback. In March of 1987, the library received a prestigious Excellence in Library Architecture Award from the American Institute of Architecture.
When it was time to physically move the books from the old library to the new, residents helped in the relocation. The doors opened on March 4, 1985. More than 350 people came to the opening ceremonies which included a symbolic procession from the old storefront to the library's new home led by the San Lorenzo Valley Marching Band.
Many local artists donated items for permanent display at the BC Library including a beautiful stained-glass window (by Virginia Fordice), a floor mosaic (by Dan and Laurie Hennig), stained-glass images of Winnie-the-Pooh (Gail Heagerty), two bronze sculptures (by Frank Hodson), and several wooden masks (by Julie Mackie). The 800 pound, bronze sculpture at the foot of the driveway also came about through community efforts. Artist Bonnie Chancellor conceived, designed, and produced "Time Well Spent" as a gift to the city. Fundraising for materials was spearheaded by Anne Gulliver and Anne Wise. The sculpture is ≤ sized image of a woman reading to two children. The dedication ceremony took place on November 3, 1985 in memory of former librarian June Brush Brosius who served from 1975-1984.