Revitalized Library Reopens as Prominent Destination in Historic Downtown Marietta, Georgia

MARIETTA, GA – Elected officials, community leaders, and a host of friends and patrons gathered to cut the ribbon on the newly renovated Charles D. Switzer Public Library on Wednesday, June 16th, 2021.

The $9.6 million revitalization project warranted a full day of celebration as the public regained access to a major community resource and established destination in historic downtown Marietta.

The Charles D. Switzer Library officially re-opened to the public on Tuesday, June 1st, 2021 with members gathering to celebrate on the 16th.

As the Cobb County Public Library System’s central flagship, Switzer has been a beloved fixture of the community since 1989. In addition to the library branch, the building also houses administrative offices and support services for the entire system, as well as a local history and genealogical collection of over 15,000 items called, The Georgia Room.

CPL, together with general contractor Albion, and library specialist 720design, collaborated as a design/build team to provide leadership in planning, architecture, interior design, building systems engineering and construction to revitalize the existing 66,400 sq. ft. building. Along with significant renovations made to improve both indoor and outdoor experiences, the team also delivered a 2,000 sq. ft. addition to support the expansion of The Georgia Room and an array of new amenities.

New features include a family computing space on the main floor, a new children’s programming room, dedicated makerspaces for both teens and adults, and an Accessibility Services Room for visitors with disabilities and/or sensory processing disorders. Other amenities include self-checkout kiosks, enlarged rooms for public use in the library’s western wing and updated, accessible restrooms.

“The building definitely presents a much brighter and more energized look and feel,” said CPL Principal, K. Scott Gordon, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP. “The entire project team recognized what Switzer meant to the community and felt a deep sense of responsibility to deliver a revitalized facility with the new amenities and features that the community deeply desired.”

Critical to the design was the inclusion of new energy efficient lighting, modern furniture and upgraded technology throughout the facility. There is also a large, outdoor activity area with seating, gardens and public art that is accessible through the Hattie Gaines Wilson Youth Services area on the library’s ground floor.

A beautiful sculpture of a child hopping on stones is prominently located near the entry stairs at the pedestrian entry from Alexander Street.

“The CPL, 720design and Albion team are privileged to have had the opportunity to collaborate and deliver the Cobb County Public Library System a revitalized community library,” said Gordon. “We are confident that Switzer will continue to serve as a prominent destination in Marietta and a cherished resource for community residents and regional patrons for another 30 years, and beyond.”

The CPL team provided architectural, structural, building systems and site engineering services for the project as a design/build team with general contractor, Albion, and library specialist and interior design lead, 720design.

About CPL

Founded in 1975, CPL is a 500+ person multi-disciplined architecture, engineering and planning firm offering inspiring design services and enriching communities in 21 cities across seven states. CPL specializes in the Community, Healthcare, Higher Education, K-12 Education and Transportation market sectors – providing architectural, interior design, civil engineering, buildings and structural engineering, planning, landscape architecture and 3D/virtual design services to a host of public and private clients.