In less than a year, the long-vacant Welwood Murray Memorial Library reinvented itself into a 21st century state-of-the-art facility to serve the community and visitors of Palm Springs.
The renovation consisted of completely gutting the interior of the library to upgrade the building’s infrastructure; all that remains of the original interior is the front door and all of the windows.
The Welwood Murray Memorial Library is now the downtown hub for tourists to obtain information about Palm Springs.
The space, located in the heart of downtown at the hub of Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way, provides visitors with a variety of services such as free Wi-Fi, public computers, electronic device charging stations, and comfortable seating to browse its collection of national magazines and newspapers.
Open since Feb. 19 — which is 74 years to the day of its original opening date in 1941 — the library now serves as a branch of the Palm Springs Public Library, and it will also be the new home of the Palm Springs Historical Society’s Research Library and Archive.
The library offers free wifi and computers for public use.
These valuable historic archives, many irreplaceable, will be housed in a state-of-the-art, climate-controlled room to be maintained for posterity. The Historical Society staff will soon be moving into their new spiffy digs there as well.
The library will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.,7 days a week and will be staffed by the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism (PSBOT). Now for the first time, there will be a one-stop center in the heart of downtown for visitors and residents to gather resource material and search the PSBOT’s website for information on attractions, dining, shopping, and entertainment. There is no charge for printing resource material from the PSBOT website. The library’s other public computers allow printing for 25 cents per page.
An exhibition on the building's architect, John Porter Clark, will be on view for a few more weeks.
The original construction and the renovation project span an arc of mid-century to new century. Designed by prominent modernist architect John Porter Clark, the renovation architect was former Palm Springs Mayor Will Kleindienst. Fittingly, the library is currently featuring an exhibition on Clark that was curated by Robert Imber, local preservationist and owner/operator of Palm Springs Modern Tours.
Lydia Kremer has worked in the architecture and design communities of Palm Springs for more than 10 years. As a publicist, she promoted Palm Springs Modernism Week for seven years since its inception, she served on the Architectural Design Council board for five years, and was a board trustee for the California Preservation Foundation for five years.