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Portland's Flagship Downtown Library Reopens Next Week—Here's Why You Need to Get There Fast

The Central Library is closing again in 2023 for at least six months for more renovations. Plus more library news and notes!

By Julia Silverman October 27, 2022

Portland's Central Library: Get there while you can! 

Booklovers, get thee back to the Central Library in downtown Portland, reopening next Tuesday after a three-month closure—but only for a brief window.  

The Central Library branch, a downtown landmark at SW 10th and Taylor, will close again at an unspecified date in 2023, for at least six months for further upgrades, library officials said Thursday. 

That’s on top of the facelift that the downtown flagship has been receiving since July, including completion of one of two outdoor public terraces, better access to the building for those with mobility challenges, and work on the first floor’s restrooms. 

In the next phase of construction, plans are more ambitious, including new restrooms, a dedicated space for teens, upgraded meeting rooms and community spaces, and new paint, carpeting, and furniture throughout.   

Meanwhile, two other larger library branches both serving communities in outer east Portland, are also closing for big upgrades. 

The Holgate Library, at SE 79th and Holgate, closes December 5 and won’t reopen again until 2024. The existing library will be torn down, and a new one—three times as large—will be built in its place. Plans call for a teen area decked out with the latest in tech, a play space for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, an outdoor plaza, and energy-generating solar panels.  

The Midland Library, at SE 122nd Avenue, just off Stark Street,  closes on December 23 for renovations and won’t reopen again until 2024. Plans call for adding about 6,000 square feet of space, a 25 percent increase. They’re adding an outdoor interactive children’s play area, an indoor play space, an outdoor “seating and reading” area and a “gathering circle” for community use, among other changes. 

Also still in the pipeline: An entirely new library in East County, which at 95,000 square feet will be just about as large as the downtown branch. 

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