George Latimer Central Library

George Latimer Central Library

Visitors to the historic George Latimer Central Library will find that energy efficiency is seamlessly integrated into the building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Efficient light bulbs in period chandeliers and sconces illuminate the library’s marble stairwells and distinctive interiors, such as the second floor Nicholson Commons and the third floor Magazine Room. Behind the scenes, an upgraded heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system has improved seasonal comfort and reduced energy usage.

The library has replaced over 1,100 bulbs throughout the building with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and other, low-wattage alternatives. The HVAC system’s air handlers feature new variable frequency drive motors that regulate and reduce energy use. A web-based HVAC control system optimizes data analytics and operating efficiency. These upgrades have been carefully integrated into this historic site to achieve both sustainability and preservation goals.

Visit for more information about sustainability efforts in the City of Saint Paul.

More about the George Latimer Central Library

Saint Paul Public Library built the Central Library in 1917. Designed by Electus D. Litchfield, the structure included an attached reference library for railroad baron James J. Hill. In 2014, the Central Library was renamed the George Latimer Central Library, in honor of George Latimer, the former mayor of Saint Paul and a lifelong library supporter.

George Latimer Central Library is a fine example of North Italian Renaissance architecture. Noted architects, designers, and artisans produced the library’s unique exterior and interior elements. Collections and study areas, as well as stairwells and lobbies, feature sculptural friezes, painted panels and beams, ceiling medallions, decorative alcoves, inscriptions from great philosophers, and a carved wood puppet stage.

Saint Paul Public Library’s mission is to connect people in Saint Paul with the imperative and the joy of learning through a lifetime. The library offers books, databases, and other resources to learn about energy, environmental sciences, and related topics. Today, the historic downtown library on Rice Park remains a jewel of the city’s library system. It houses approximately 350,000 books and other materials and several special collections, including a Saint Paul Collection. The Saint Paul Public Library system also features twelve neighborhood libraries, the Bookmobile, and a digital library.