Spokane Library Makes a Splash


Celebration marks the grand reopening of the renovated Central Library by the Spokane Falls 

“The best view in the city” is open once again! On July 11, Spokane Public Library cut the ribbon on its completely re-imagined Central Library. Perched on the cliffs above the Spokane River, the downtown landmark commands a spectacular view of the falls, which provided an exuberant whitewater backdrop for the grand reopening. 

The Central Library is the jewel of the renewed Spokane Public Library system. The 1992 vintage structure was originally short on public space, stuffed with thousands of high-density shelves, and awash with underutilized and inaccessible space. Group 4 partnered with local firm Integrus to design and deliver a top-to-bottom renovation. The renovation gives the library a new public face, courtesy of a striking new entrance, and dedicates most of its area to gathering spaces for visitors of all ages. 

The ground floor revolves around the Collaborative Commons, an open interior plaza ringed by program rooms, maker and computer labs, a co-working space, and a café. An enlarged 3-story atrium accented by custom-built “boulders” draws users up to the reading floor, with its inspired “River Rumpus” children’s play space and myriad options for reading and study. At the apex, full-featured studios offer pro-level tools for music recording, radio broadcast, podcast creation, and film.  

The Central Library’s iconic monthly event Lilac City Live! finds a renewed home in nxwyxwyetkw Hall (“Life in the Water” in the Salish language), capturing those sweeping views to the falls below. After a two-year hiatus, the event returns on July 28, 2022.   

The Central Library is one of Spokane’s citywide voter-supported library improvement projects. Read more about Group 4’s work on Spokane’s Shadle, Hillyard, and Hive branches. 

See photos from the reopening below or watch this dazzling flythrough video courtesy of a virtual tour from Spokane Central Library.