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A modern, innovative new Main Library, co-located with the city's Department of Arts & History to create a vibrant community gathering space and iconic gateway to the City of Boise. It will serve as a point of connection for education, culture and innovation — a source of pride for generations to come.

A 21st Century Library! 

To keep pace with evolving library practice and meet the needs of a growing population, the new Main Library will be built on access, innovation and knowledge acquisition and application.

  •  Automatic Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) will expand the Boise Public Library collection
  • Greater access to emerging technology
  • Dedicated “maker spaces” to encourage innovation and collaboration
  • Expanded reading areas
  • Additional public meeting rooms
  • Expanded programming
  • Increased parking capacity

A Center for Arts & History 

A community-based facility that invites residents and visitors to experience local history, art and culture through exhibitions, performances, presentations, workshops and collaboration.

  • Cultural Information Center
  • Boise City Archives
  • Conservation Shop
  • Gallery
  • Retail Space
  • Event Space
  • Administrative and Program Offices


The Architects

Moshe Safdie, FAIA

Lead: Safdie Architects

Safdie Architects is an architecture and urban design studio imbued with a spirit of idealism and innovation. The practice is research-oriented and forward thinking, drawing upon a depth of experience to solve contemporary building challenges in imaginative and unexpected ways. 

Safdie Architects is active in a wide variety of project types, scales and sectors, designing museums, cultural centers, libraries, housing, mixed-use developments, transportation centers and master plans in geographically and culturally-diverse places. The studio’s projects around the world have become beloved resources and symbols of their communities as well as regional and national landmarks. Recent library and civic projects include the Salt Lake City Public Library, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, and Vancouver Library Square.  


Architect of Record: CSHQA 

CSHQA is passionate about sustainable, energy-efficient design and creating healthy, enduring spaces for people in which to live, work and play. CSHQA are people who listen, creating design that speaks.

The award-winning design firm specializes in full-service architecture and engineering, interior and environmental design, landscape architecture, telecommunications, and building forensic services. Nearly 100 professionals design civic, education, multi-family, commercial, retail, hospitality, aviation and healthcare projects. Serving clients in all 50 states, CSHQA has offices in Boise, Denver, and Sacramento.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why now? 

Originally built in the 1940s as a hardware warehouse, the current Main Library was converted to a library in 1973. With increased attendance and program participation, the library services and space are no longer meeting our residents’ and visitors’ needs. 

How much will this project cost and how will it be funded?

An estimated $60-70m project split between philanthropy, existing public funds and long-term financing.

What about parking? 

The design goal includes parking for approximately 300 spaces. The library currently has 102. The project team has not yet determined if the parking will be on or off-site. The design firm will help us determine pros and cons and feasibility for each option.

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Spring 2017

  • Feasibility Studies
  • Visioning Workshops

Winter 2017 - 2018

  • Hire Architect
  • Design Concepts
    We are here!

Spring 2018

  • Open Houses & Public Input
  • Design and Construction Documents


  • Capital Campaign
  • Groundbreaking
  • Construction


  • Opening


For giving opportunities, please contact:

Chandra Zenner Ford, Philanthropy Director
(208) 972-8515