The 1501 Ellinwood Street library building is the realization of a longheld dream of the library board, staff and community partners. Located in the heart of downtown Des Plaines, the four story, 82,000 square foot building represents the community's commitment to reading, lifelong learning, and a center for family activities. A grand central staircase and large windows provide a wealth of natural light and illuminate the building at night. 

Facts about the building

  • 80% of the building is public space (14% is staff offices and 6% is mechanical).
  • The exterior is buff Kasota stone with oxidized copper panels.
  • The structure is 68 feet tall and approximately 150 feet on a side.
  • There are eight major art installations throughout the building.

Design and construction

Designed by Chicago firm Lohan Anderson and built by Leopardo, the building broke ground on April 15, 1999 and opened on August 14, 2000. 

Library plaza and the clock tower

The library plaza includes a freestanding clock tower in memory of the well-loved clock tower at the library's former location on Graceland.