The Library / Formerly Haydon Burns Library
Built in 1965 by Taylor Hardwick, AIA and W. Mayberry Lee, Hardwick and Lee Architects.
In addition to having exceptional significance in relation to the historical context of Downtown Jacksonville during the period between 1955 and 1965, the Haydon Burns Public Library also is an outstanding example of a uniquely designed building of the Modern era that successfully integrated art and technology in order to address very specific needs and site parameters. Noted architectural historians and national historic preservation consultants, James C. Massey and Shirley Maxwell, have described the Haydon Burns Library as being not only significantly reflecting the times in which it was constructed, but also a bold architectural statement that broke from the “Miesian Box” that characterized most of the work of the Modern movement. Massey and Maxwell further describe the design of the Haydon Burns Public Library as a work that “humanizes the somewhat sterile boxes of the preceding decade”. Their use of the word, “humanizes”, reinforces an earlier description of the library that stated, “its appropriately scaled detailing of ceramic and glazed tile, glazed brick and rhythmic concrete fins, is exemplary of one of the more humane branches of the Modern Movement”. The Haydon Burns Public Library is commonly recognized as the most significant work of Taylor Hardwick, not only because of its very public location and use, but also because it embodies so well the unique elements of design that have come to characterize his work.
Architect Taylor Hardwick reminds us the total area of 122,000sf was designed to house 550,000 volumes and continued successfully serving the 2002 population, when plans began to move the Main Library to Hemming Plaza as part of a new Government Center.
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