The East Lake Community Library is one of 15 branch libraries formerly in the Minneapolis Public Library System and now one of 41 branch libraries in the Hennepin County Library System in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. Three different buildings have housed the library since 1924.
First East Lake
The first East Lake Community Library opened in February, 1924, between the Hosmer Community Library
and Roosevelt Community Library
, which is modeled closely after East Lake. Situated on Lake Street, it featured simple architecture and a skylight. Because of its appearance, seemingly like a storefront, the library was called a 'Reading Factory'. East Lake was one of the last libraries built in a library 'building boom' that Minneapolis experienced starting in 1905 and ending in 1937.
The first East Lake remained until the mid 1970s when the need for a new, larger library grew. By 1974, East Lake was circulating 121,459 items and fielding tens of thousands of reference questions. In 1976, the library closed and the second incarnation opened. In 1990, Northern Sun Merchandising purchased the building and runs it there to this day. In 2000, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Second East Lake
The second East Lake was built two blocks west of the original library. It had 15,116 square feet (1,404 m2) of space and 30,000 volumes. It also had a 2,390 square feet (222 m2) meeting room. The building was built by the Minnehaha Mall which included a Target and SuperValu store, and helped bring growth to the area. It served patrons of the Longfellow and Phillips neighborhoods well, although by the turn of the century, the building was beginning to show wear.
Third East Lake
None of Outlook Twenty Ten's original suggestions were followed, and on 30 Apr. 2005, the second East Lake was closed to make way for the third building. The newest East Lake was modeled after Minneapolis's Central Library which at the time was also under construction. It featured a glass and metal exterior and was designed by KKE Architects. It is the only green branch library in the system. The library opened on January 10, 2007. It includes a teen area, a small business/entrepreneurial knoll and fully automated checkout systems.