Funded by a bond referendum in 1961, the Westover Branch Library, seen here in the 1970s, was opened to the public in June of 1963.
Prior to this, the Westover branch, founded in 1949, was located in small rented basement rooms at 1530 N. Longfellow Street, but the needs of the community soon outgrew the space. The new location at 1800 N. Lexington Street was designed by J. Russell Bailey, who also designed the Cherrydale branch building and the original Central Library in 1961.
From the Westover Library Dedication program:
“The modern split level design permits the entrance-level circulation desk to serve both the adult area on the upper level and the children’s room on the lower level. The latter opens to a grass terrace for story hour use. Full length windows on the north wall provide good light. Air-conditioning has been installed.”
Local women’s and civic groups planted trees and maintained flower beds on the grounds, and helped purchase new furniture and books for the shelves. The Westover Library had quickly become part of the community. However, that community has kept on growing, and the Westover branch has packed a lot of books and information in a small space to keep up with community needs.
A larger, more modern Westover Branch Library opened in October 2009.
What About You?
What do you remember about Westover library? How about other Arlington branch libraries? Do you have any photographs of those buildings? Let us know what you remember!