Martin Library $6 million renovation complete in downtown York


A $6 million renovation of the Martin Library in downtown York highlights services for teens and opens new areas to the public.

The renovation, which began in Fall 2021, will conclude with a grand reopening celebration starting Monday, culminating in a block party finale on Sunday, July 17.

See previous appearance:Photos: View the Martin Library during the May 2022 renovation

Martin, which opened in its current location in 1935, has expanded several times over the past 87 years.

From the new Teens area on the second floor, people explore the newly renovated Martin Library in York Tuesday while walking through the 55-foot atrium that was part of a 2005 addition.  The adult fiction collection was moved to the second floor, visible through the glass on the right, which housed offices and a hallway.

The recent interior design reconfiguration helps to better serve youthful users, updates security and restrooms, and adds new public areas, while office and desk areas are relocated.

While the interiors are being completed, Susan Davidson, vice president of finance and development, said new windows that look like the old ones but with modern efficiencies will be installed immediately after the week of celebrations.

The project came on budget, with unexpected delays due to supply shortages, Davidson said.

A collection of paintings commissioned by the Confronting Racism Coalition and painted by Ophelia Chambliss is located at the entrance to the teenage section.  The paintings were inspired by the Anti-Racist Union (Central York) Panther's and encouraged youth to speak out.

A centerpiece of the renovation is the new teens area, which extends over the second floor. It includes a table games area, a casual lounge, ample laptop plug-in space, and a computer room. A recording, audiovisual, and DJ labs have separate glass-walled areas that provide equipment and training. A “solver space” takes learning one step further from just making things to solving problems in creating.

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Historical Timeline of the Martin Library

  • 1920 The Association purchases land on Market Street and Queen Street. Local architect Federick Dempwolf designed the building in a colonial style
  • 1935 The Martin Library officially opens its doors on Halloween
  • 1955 Groundbreaking for the expansion of the children’s library and non-fiction on the second floor
  • 1985 Groundbreaking for a three-story extension on the north side of the library
  • 2005 The library announces an $8 million renovation and expansion, including a coffee shop, 55-foot atrium, nursery, and new technology
A timetable for the expansion of the Martin Library

York County Libraries will officially celebrate the reopening of the Martin Library on Monday, July 11 at 9 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours of the renovated library.

On Sunday, July 17, from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., the library will host a block party featuring family-friendly games, musical entertainment and food trucks between East Market Street and East Clarke Avenue.

A 'solver room

“We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the library. We host week-long activities, but the block party is extra special because our York City youth artists are helping us celebrate the library’s reopening,” said Mina Edmondson, Director of the Martin Library.

Visit the York County Libraries website for more information.


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