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This St. Louis library was named one of the most beautiful in the US

Besides checking out books, you'll want to check out the magnificent building itself!

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Public Library’s flagship location isn’t just a place to check out a book, movie or a new music album.

The location itself is a sight to behold.

SLPL’s Central Library was recently named one of the “11 Most Beautiful Libraries in the United States” by Fodor’s Travel, which has been offering travel advice for more than 80 years.

The block-long Downtown West library was recognized for its “magnificent” architectural styles. The building dates back to 1912 and was designed by renowned architect Cass Gilbert, who also designed the U.S. Supreme Court Building.

“It’s considered a historical treasure, featuring exquisite replicas of details from the Pantheon, the Vatican, and Michelangelo’s Laurentian Library. There’s a magnificently grand front entrance and a peaceful sunken garden space out back for relaxing,” the article notes.

Credit: St. Louis Public Library
A collage of photos of St. Louis Public Library's Central Branch

Central Library underwent an extensive $70 million renovation in 2012, with the hopes of preserving the space for generations to come.

"Fodor's recognition of our magnificent, classical building offering state-of-the-art library services to all is wonderful to read, and the Library is grateful to St. Louis for making it possible,” said St. Louis Public Library CEO Waller McGuire. “We invite St. Louisans to be a tourist in their own town and come visit one of the treasures of their city."

Central Library offers free, guided tours of the building for individuals and groups on Mondays at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. Call 314-338-7792 or email web@slpl.org for more information.

The library is located at 1301 Olive Street. It's open 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 1-5 p.m. on Sundays.

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