“The Archer Heights Branch of the Chicago Public Library” by S.M. O’Connor

The Archer Heights Branch of the Chicago Public Library is located in Archer Heights (Community Area #57) on the West Side of Chicago, southwest of the Chicago Loop.  It is on Archer Avenue between West 50th Street to the north, Karlov Avenue to the east, West 51st Street to the south, and Kedvale Avenue to the west.  This part of Archer Avenue is traditionally home to Chicago’s Gorale (Polish Highlander) community.  The Archer Heights Branch Library serves the neighborhoods of Archer Heights; Sleepy Hollow (not to be confused with the exurb of Sleepy Hollow, Illinois); and West Elsdon.  It is within a few blocks of two of the Chicago Park District’s parks, as it is about five blocks southwest of the 13.5-acre Curie Park and about seven blocks southeast of the 13.22-acre Archer Park.

This is the second iteration of the Archer Heights Branch Library.  It opened on September 16, 2000. The Public Building Commission of Chicago oversaw the design and construction of this branch library for the Chicago Public Library.  The Architect of Record was Antunovich & Associates.  The general contractor was the Leopardo Companies.  The previous iteration, the Archer Branch, was a rented storefront branch library at 5148 South Archer Avenue.

The new branch library has artworks by Brian Sikes, a member of the Art and Art History Department faculty at DePaul University, and Laura Mosquera, a Savannah, Georgia-based artist who was a visiting artist and instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 2001 to 2007.  The commissions were funded through the Percent for Art Ordinance administered by the City of Chicago Public Art Program.  Ms. Mosquera executed her work in 2003-04.

The Featured Collections are Polish Language Materials and Spanish Language Materials).  The Archer Heights Branch Meeting Room can hold up to 100 people (eighty seated).  It has nine tables, eighty chairs, a screen, a lectern, and a sink.  One can apply to book the room up to three months before the event, but not less than seven days before the event.  The branch manager must approve the event.  An applicant will be notified whether or not his or her application has been approved within three days.  Groups that book the room are responsible for setup and takedown.

The address is 5055 South Archer Avenue.  The phone number is (312) 747-9241.

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