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Interface Craftsmen Complete Architectural Finish as Schlafly Library

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 28, 2002 - Interface Construction Corp. has completed all architectural finish at Schlafly Regional Library, the newest facility in the St. Louis Public Library system. With comfortable seating and abundant natural light, the new library evokes the feel of a large bookstore rather than that of a typical library.

Like popular bookstores, the Schlafly Regional Library features plush seating, a children's section, face-out book displays and access to a future coffee shop. The 26,000-square-foot library is unique in that it sits on the lower level of a 465-vehicle parking garage-a solution that was conceived in response to a need for additional parking in St. Louis' Central West End and for a new library location. With parking available at $1 per hour, library patrons benefit from both of the building's purposes.

Team Four Architects was the architect for the Schlafly Regional Library, which is located on the first floor of the Argyle Parking Garage at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Lindell Boulevard in the Central West End. Interface was contracted to finish out the library after the garage was completed. An additional 5,000 square feet of retail space is available for lease, including space for a coffee shop connected to the library.

According to Judith Bruce, regional branch manager at Schlafly, new visitors to the library are often awed by its appearance. "At least four or five people a day tell me this is the most beautiful library they've ever seen-and I'm only one of the people on staff hearing this," she said.

The library features an L-shaped design with abundant windows along the two exterior walls. Public areas such as the children's area and conference room are along the perimeter of the library next to the windows. The circulation area is in the center of the library, as is a computer room for patron use. The Schlafly Regional Library has a total of 49 computers, 16 of which are available for Internet access. The library also has three express self-checkout stations, freeing up library personnel to help patrons.

The most striking architectural feature of the new library is the curved woodwork and crown molding that winds around the interior space. Interface completed all interior finish, including carpentry, casework, architectural woodwork, crown molding and amenities. Interface also installed doors and crown molding for the entrance into the coffee shop space.

According to Nichalos Gardner, Interface's project manager, "The most difficult and rewarding aspect of the project was the curved crown molding along the walls behind the circulation desk and the curved door front. Both of these demanded skill and careful attention by our craftsmen."

The completed library features an auditorium with a large screen and recessed projector, offices for library personnel and a large circulation area. It replaces the Lashly Library, which was located at 4537 W. Pine Blvd., and is a regional branch rather than a neighborhood branch, offering longer hours and extended resources. The new Schlafly Library is part of a 10-year plan to overhaul all 14 branches in the St. Louis Public Library system.

Gardner added that the project required extensive coordination with other trades because all contractors worked directly with the library. BSI Constructors, Inc. served as the construction manager.

Interface's project team included Gardner, Superintendent Eric Nea, and Carpenters John Bertelsmann, Gary Berg, Mark Boehms, Chris Turek and Todd Bertelsmann. Joining Interface on the library were Waddell Concrete, Inc., concrete; Gravois Planing Mill Co., Inc., casework and crown molding; and Samuel Glass & Door Service and D&J Sandblasting, cut glass.

For more information, contact Michelle Faszold
at 314/569-7100 (office)
314/368-6780 (cell) or
Interface Construction