This New Orleans neighborhood library is comprised of two buildings joined together with the intention that they function as a whole. One building is a historically significant bungalow built as a residence in 1917, sited prominently on the corner of South Broad Street and Napoleon Avenue. The other building, built in 1993 specifically to function as a library, was home to the main reading room and stock areas. Both buildings were severely flooded by levee breaks attributed to Hurricane Katrina. The bungalow was salvaged and raised for future flood prevention, but the modern addition was deemed necessary for replacement by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).
The new 10,000 square foot combined library and community center serves the Broadmoor community by providing residents with an innovative 21st century library, community center, gathering space, and valuable educational resource. A visually open connection is maintained between the Historic House and Library Addition in order to create spatial relief as the two buildings touch. This “spine” allows for a clear line of sight to the playground across Broad Street and provides a clear entry sequence into the library. The new addition primarily houses book shelving, computer stations, and other core elements of the library function, while the historic house operates primarily as the community meeting center and home to a small café.