Page 5 - SEPT RAPNEWS 2017
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Downtown Alexandria is steeped in rich history. A visitor to the area only has to look at the variety of architecture on the main
thoroughfares to see the progression of time, culture, and industry in the buildings that comprise the historic downtown business
district. As the Rapides Parish Library celebrates its 75th anniversary of service to the community, we also proudly join the ranks of
historic buildings in the Central Louisiana area.
The Rapides Parish Library and the Huie Dellmon House are two structures that are so different yet both stand as a testament to
the diversity, inclusiveness, and utilitarianism that is the Rapides Parish Library.

                                   The Rapides Parish Library
                                      411 Washington Street

The Rapides Parish Main Library attained it historic status on January 26, 2016, just after celebrating its 50th year serving the
community. The newly built Rapides Parish Library, located at 411 Washington Street in Alexandria, opened its doors on June 20,
1965, with a great deal of fanfare and gratification. Guests that day entered the ultra-modern and spacious library that was a
shining example of the modern style that remains, to this day, a unique structure in the downtown Alexandria landscape.
The Rapides Parish Library is one of a few buildings in Alexandria created in the New Formalism style by architect Eugene Thomas
Glankler, Jr. The building uses economical cast-in-place concrete columns and aggregate wall panels that mimic more expensive
marble and stone and creates the feeling of being in a temple with sweeping arches and tall slender colonnades. The building
easily straddles the futuristic atomic age of the 1950s and 1960s while harkening back to an impressive past of institutions of higher
learning and education.
The Rapides Parish Main Library continues to serve the community and with its recent refurbishment, returned to the original
Eugene Thomas Glankler, Jr. interior designs. As in the original designs, the library has returned to a light spacious area for reading
and computer work and tiled areas that recreate the open-air New Formalism style. The modern addition of a glassed-in
multi-media lab retains the vision Mr. Glankler had that the library should enrich the spirit and enlighten the mind and expand the
vision of the customer when they walk into the library.

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