The Update for August 18, 2023

“Members of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation get a groundbreaking demolition photo in Uptown Charlotte on Tuesday, August 15, 2023. The Library has been slated for demolition for years as the branch makes way for a new, state of the art facility. The builders expect to have the old building demolished by the end of the year and they are planning on completing the new library by 2026.”

Image credit: Joshua Komer, The Charlotte Observer

Hello —

The Library’s demolition event on Tuesday brought up a full range of emotions. The photographer captured the faces of some of us who started this project almost a decade ago and others who experienced the enormity and importance of the new Main Library project for the very first time.

Nine years ago, it started with engagement sessions where we listened, gathered and analyzed what people in our community wanted and needed in a new Main Library. From those first renderings from architect Snøhetta to the hundreds of hours spent in planning meetings, the vision of a future new Main Library was realized in the thoughtful design of a transformative space — physically, economically, intelligently, and equitably.

Mecklenburg County’s tremendous support was followed by our first gift to the CommonSpark campaign from the private donor community, the Dowd Foundation. When we announced the campaign in 2019 the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation came on board with a lead gift of $10M, paving the way for other major contributors.

2020 altered our roadmap to completion. The pandemic, in addition to delaying the construction and increasing the cost, changed forever how people work and continues to reshape the Uptown Charlotte business district.

But here we are in 2023, with the first big “bite” taken out of the current building, giving us a much-needed visual cue of change. Of that range of emotions I mentioned early, it’s gratitude that is the strongest. This incredible Library is only happening because of our donors, hundreds of you committed to community, to education, and to access. Thank you for believing in this project and for believing in us, your Library Foundation.

We still have $18M left to raise, so you’ll definitely be hearing from us to be a part of this momentous project. We look forward to keeping you updated on its progress with pictures and videos as construction begins in early 2024.

Thank you, and I hope you enjoy the last couple weeks of summer.

With gratitude,

Jenni Gaisbauer, CFRE
Executive Director

P.S. Want to be a part of building the next great American Library? Contact me at (704) 416-0801 or jgaisbauer@cmli​ to discuss ways to fundraise for the Library.

Demolition Event Pictorial

Take a look at a momentous day in the progress toward a new Main Library in uptown Charlotte.

New Renderings

We also shared four new rendering of the new Main Library at the event including a café and terraces.


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December 2

Home Page, The Update

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