Saturday, June 22, 2024

Cambridge’s Main Library opened Thursday — to show off its $90 million renovation only, with services to start Nov. 8 — to the excitement of hundreds of residents, politicians and even librarians from every branch building who came to help with the 449 Broadway structure’s ribbon cutting. The four-story jewel box (including basement function room) adjoining the original Richardson Romanesque building was a hit, and bands of book and architecture lovers roved tirelessly to jazz provided by adults and string selections performed by a children’s orchestra.

The Main Library is framed by a stone arch and struck by the sun Thursday shortly before a 5 to 7:30 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. (Photo: Mikki Ansin)

The Main Library is framed by a stone arch and struck by the sun Thursday shortly before a 5 to 7:30 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. (Photo: Mikki Ansin)

Historical details were displayed so visitors could compare the new structure with its predecessor. (Photo: Mikki Ansin)

Historical details were displayed so visitors could compare the new structure with its predecessor. (Photo: Mikki Ansin)

The library’s 177,413-item collection isn’t for use until Nov. 8. (Photo: Marc Levy)

The library’s 177,413-item collection isn’t for use until Nov. 8. (Photo: Marc Levy)

Equipment awaits November’s official opening date to serve patrons. (Photo: Mikki Ansin)

Equipment awaits November’s official opening date to serve patrons. (Photo: Mikki Ansin)

A children’s reading area is equipped with comfortable cushions and a fanciful rug of “rocks.” (Photo: Mikki Ansin)

A children’s reading area is equipped with comfortable cushions and a fanciful rug of “rocks.” (Photo: Mikki Ansin)

Another reading area on the children’s floor takes advantage of the Main Library’s glass front and expansive views. (Photo: Mikki Ansin)

Another reading area on the children’s floor takes advantage of the Main Library’s glass front and expansive views. (Photo: Mikki Ansin)

A pristine meeting area looks out onto the foyer — and allows passers-by to look in. (Photo: Marc Levy)

A pristine meeting area looks out onto the foyer — and allows passers-by to look in. (Photo: Marc Levy)

A young performer entertains patrons Thursday, part of a children’s orchestra, on the children’s floor of the library. (Photo: Mikki Ansin)

A young performer entertains patrons Thursday, part of a children’s orchestra, on the children’s floor of the library. (Photo: Mikki Ansin)

There will be cafe dining at the library inside and out, and patrons can take books outside to read in good weather, library officials said. (Photo: Marc Levy)

There will be cafe dining inside and out, and patrons can take books outside to read in good weather, library officials said. (Photo: Marc Levy)

Although the library has many volumes, plans call for the addition of about 2,500 items per month. (Photo: Marc Levy)

Although the library has many volumes, plans call for the addition of about 2,500 items per month. (Photo: Marc Levy)

Thursday night, with the Main Library’s day in the sun winding down, the city gets a first glimpse of what it looks like during nighttime use. (Photo: Mikki Ansin)

Thursday night, with the Main Library’s day in the sun winding down, the city gets a first glimpse of what it looks like during nighttime use. (Photo: Mikki Ansin)

A boy looks into the Main Library as the ribbon-cutting ceremony winds down Thursday. (Photo: Marc Levy)

A boy looks into the Main Library as the ribbon-cutting ceremony winds down Thursday. (Photo: Marc Levy)

The event over, the Main Library glows amid a still, peaceful night. (Photo: Mikki Ansin)

The event over, the Main Library glows amid a still, peaceful night. (Photo: Mikki Ansin)