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City to Consider Contract in Library Retrofit Project

Published on Friday, February 3, 2023 | 5:51 am

The City Council on Monday will consider a $6.1 million contract for the preparation of environmental document and professional design services for the Central Library seismic retrofit.

On May 3, 2021, City officials ordered its closure after engineers had found that the building would likely collapse in moderate to large earthquakes.

“A preliminary seismic evaluation of the building’s structural system was completed in April 2021 as a result of the Central Library – building systems and structural assessment. The results indicated that the building does not meet the structural performance objectives recommended by the American Society of Civil Engineers and is not in compliance with Pasadena Municipal Code,” according to a City staff report.

On November 1, 2021, the Department of Public Works issued a Request for Proposals for the preparation of the environmental document and architectural and engineering design services for the seismic retrofit, as well as additional services for building systems upgrades and renovations at the library including: installation of a new fire alarm and fire sprinkler system; roof replacement; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing upgrades; Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades; and improvements to the exterior courtyard and parking lot.

The library was designed by Myron Hunt in 1924 and was the first building completed in Pasadena’s historic Civic Center Plan and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The library is one of the three major buildings in the city’s Civic Center District as part of the Bennett Plan. 

Under that plan, the City’s most important civic institutions  — including the library and City Hall — were placed within an area where streets conclude at the buildings: City Hall to the east, the library to the north, and the Civic Center to the south.

The Central Library is home to almost 300,000 items in its collection. 

Assemblymember Chris Holden presented the City with a check for $4 million to the city and Pasadena Public Library to help repair the nearly 100-year-old Central Library.

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