Downtown Library Updates

downtown_sun2.jpg

The City of Fort Worth is selling the 2.32-acre property located at 500 W. 3rd St. in downtown Fort Worth.  The Central Library, Fort Worth Public Library Foundation offices and some city offices are located on this property. City and Library leadership are actively working on a plan to relocate library services in the downtown area, guided by the 2019 Library Facility Master Plan(PDF, 4MB)


 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where will the new library be located? 

The final location of a future library depends on assessing the needs of the downtown population, residential trends and property availability. Decisions will be guided by a Library Facility Master Plan completed in 2019 that is available online.

What is happening to the artwork at the Central Library?

All artwork that is the property of the City of Fort Worth will be relocated to other facilities or the new downtown location once selected. 

Artwork donated to the Fort Worth Public Library Foundation that was on display at the Central Library is managed by the Foundation. Some pieces have been selected for auction to create an endowment for the Library. Others will be stored until a permanent location for public viewing can be determined. 

What will happen to the commemorative bricks around the Library? 

At this time, it is unclear if the bricks can be salvaged without damaging them. Patrons interested in a specific brick can provide their contact information and when a decision is made related to the bricks, they will be contacted. 

What is happening to the books?

Librarians who specialize in collection management are evaluating all items at the Central Library to determine what can be distributed at the 17 other library branches or set aside for use at a future location. 

What will happen to the employees at this location? 

Library staff will not be laid off or terminated due to the relocation of the library. Work has already begun to reallocate some staff both permanently and temporarily. 

Where will Bumpersaurus go? 

We are pleased to announce that this adorable attraction in the Central Youth Library will be relocated to the Golden Triangle library. An installation date is still pending. 

What about the City Archives? 

The Archives, local history and genealogy department has already relocated to the Fort Worth History Center. Archives are stored offsite in a climate controlled and fire resistant facility.

What about donor recognition for the 1993-1995 Capital Campaign?

The future downtown location will commemorate previous donors with digital signage.


Ask a Question

The Central Library will reduce hours of operation on Jan. 31, 2023.   No staff will be laid off due to the reduction in hours. 

New hours:

Tuesday - Saturday

10 am - 6 pm


Library administration estimates a closure date sometime in 2023 in preparation for moving to a new location. 

On Tuesday, Dec. 13 the Fort Worth City Council approved the sale of the property at 500 W. 3rd Street to Dart Interests, LLC for $18 million.   

Dart Interests is a national real estate and development firm.  Requirements of the sale include development as a mixed-use project including office and residential space as well as space that the City has an option to lease space for a library.

Questions specific to the sale of the property should be directed to the City of Fort Worth Property Management department

Please note: The current property is not a protected historic site or historic building.

front facade of Fort Worth Carnegie LibraryThe Carnegie Public Library of Fort Worth opened on Oct. 17, 1901 at 9th and Throckmorton with Jennie Scheuber as librarian and a collection of 6,907 volumes.  The building included an art gallery, an early association with the arts that continues with the Fort Worth Public Library today. 

In 1928 a need for additional space became critical at the Library.  A bond issue for a larger library failed that year and the Library rented an annex at 209 1/2 8th Street to house part of the collection. 

 


front facade of 1939 libraryIn 1939, a new central library replaced the original Carnegie building and was dedicated with Harry N. Peterson of Yonkers, New York as the system's first professional library director.

The building, located on the same land as the demolished Carnegie Library, served as the Central Library for nearly four decades. 

 

 


1978 library.pngDespite receiving voter approval in 1972 to build a new Central Library, it was delayed by litigation until 1975. The loss of funds due to double digit inflation resulted in an underground building as the only alternative.  The Library was built completely underground at the current property with a street level entrance and access through the Tandy Center subway. 

 


central-library.jpgIn 1992 a project to expand the Central Library began.  In 1993, the Fort Worth Public Library Foundation was founded and began a capital improvement campaign to finish, furnish and equip the expanded Central Library, and in 1995 the exterior of the current building was finished with approximately 2/3 of the street level occupied.  The second story was never completely finished for use.