Old Engine House Is Redwood City's Treasured Downtown Library

After moving locations several times in the last century, the Redwood City Public Library has been in its current location for the past 30 years, and still retains telltale signs of its origins as Fire Station No. 1.

Since the y's establishment in 1865, it has jumped around the downtown area, occupying land and offices that served the library's purposes at the time, but never finding a location suitable for its grandeur and the promises of knowledge and discovery that it invariably exuded. In 1988 however, over a century after its intial foundation, the Redwood City Public Library moved into a new home, one that could hold the existing collections, as well as provide room for further future expansion: the Old Fire Station No. 1 on the corner of Jefferson and Middlefield.

Today, the Redwood City Public Library remains proudly in this spot, encouraging the next generation of young scholars, as well as providing bountiful resources for those more experienced in their scholarly pursuits. The facade of the edifice seems relatively unchanged; the RCFD engravings still stand out against the front of the library, and the doors, although obviously changed, are still in the locations where the original fire engine doors were so many years ago. Inside however, the building is completely renovated from its earlier days as a fire house, now housing a daunting labyrinth of books, cd's, movies, and historical archives.

Aside from simply catering to Redwood City residents' craving for books and media, the library hosts programs and activities for children, teens, adults, and seniors as well as volunteer opportunities, most notably among them Project READ, a volunteer one-on-one tutoring program for young students that helps them further their educational goals.

This summer, make sure to check out the Redwood City Downtown Library, where you can find entertaining reads, interesting history, or just plain fun. You may just find yourself coming back for more.


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