Summer Solstice Event at Burton Barr Library

library soltice  (3 of 4)I want to send a shout out to Cindi Hensley, a friend and proponent of the Garfield neighborhood. I called her to view a house in the area and she told me about the Summer Solstice event at Burton Barr Library.

The Summer Solstice event happens every June 21st on the fifth floor of the downtown Phoenix library. It has two purposes… one is to celebrate the solstice and the other is to gather and enjoy this special space designed by architect Will Bruder.

Normally Bruder leads the celebration, but he was in Denver getting an award for his long service as an AIS. In his stead, architect Wendell Burnette took the reigns.

Burnette was on the team that designed  this award winning building and he shared a few things I never knew about the Burton Barr library:

  • The top floor is sometimes referred to as the “top of the mesa” as in Hopi Indian culture.
  • The roof of the library is actually suspended above the building using a special cable system.
  • The firth floor reading room is the largest reading room in any library in American… larger that the Library of Congress reading room.
  • The pillars the rise up to nearly the top of the reading room are referred to as candlesticks.
  • The round openings in the roof light up the very top of all the candlesticks at solar noon each day. Solar noon happened at 12:30 PM for the event.
  • The blue tops to the Candlesticts shown in the picture is what happens to all of them at solar noon… it felt s a bit Mayan to me.

library soltice  (1 of 4)The event, in its eighteenth year, was well attended and featured Native American flutist Anthony Wakeman who provided an hour’s worth of soothing solstice tunes.

You may want to put a special note in your calendar for June 21st 2014 so you too can join the festivites. If you just want to see the “lighting of the candlesticks”, go the the library at solar noon any day of the week. I’d suggest a bright sunny day as this  enhances the visuals. 

Just another of the many things to do in downtown Phoenix and why people love to call this part of town “Home.”

Gene Urban
The Urban Team at Realty Executives

connecting people to the perfect place for over 20 years

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