With its wide bookshelves varying from dark aged wood to more modern circular cases, The Indianapolis Public Library—Central Library—writes the book on combining old with new. And now it has been chosen by MentalFloss.com as the fifth most beautiful library in the United States. With contenders among these Top 10 such as the Armstrong–Browning Library at Baylor University in Texas and the Morgan Library in New York, Indy should be flattered. Most of the edifices chosen are on the coasts, and Indy’s downtown main branch is the sole Midwest rep on this list.
The old-school limestone and Greek columns of the original 1917 building mix strangely (but slyly) with the addition’s modern style of large windows and open space. In fact, from the sixth floor reading area, check out the sight of the city down below—there’s a whole array of older buildings just itching for that same modern feel.
The library is both cool and functional with its long rows of computers and towering bookshelves filled with old classics, new releases, and dusty history tomes. It’s a truly unique piece of Indy’s history. And to think, just a few years back some people didn’t even want this library to modernize.