university library portico and grand staircase

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History of the Building

Life of the Library
Date Event
1956 Library service begins in bungalow "J," located next to the Student Union on Lindley Ave.
1957 The Library is out of space and rents a former meat market on Reseda Blvd.
1958 The Library uses a hayloft in a stable at Devonshire Downs for storage.
March 3, 1959 The new Library opens. Library services are located on two floors of the building. The Library has 75,000 volumes.
1960 The Library now occupies three floors of the building.
1967 The Library occupies all four floors of the building but space is tight and Technical Services moves to the Engineering Building.
May 19, 1971 Ground-breaking ceremony for the Oviatt Library is held.
October 24, 1973 The first phase of the Delmar T. Oviatt Library is completed and the library is dedicated. The architect is Leo A. Daly. The budget is $7,494,130. The Library has 137,896 net square feet with a 1,674 seating capacity. The old Library (now called South Library) still remains in operation but now houses only the Science collection and services, University Archives, Urban Archives, the Instructional Materials Laboratory and Technical Services.
1991 The second phase of the Delmar T. Oviatt Library is completed by adding the east and west wings to the Library. The architect is Leo A. Daly. The contractor is Kiewit Construction. The budget is $18.4 million. The construction adds 96,816 square feet. The Oviatt is now 234,712 square feet. The South Library is renovated for other campus services.
January 17, 1994 A 6.8 earthquake strikes the Northridge area and badly damages the Oviatt Library. The Library is closed indefinitely.
February, 1994 Partial library services begin in trailers parked next to the Oviatt.
Spring, 1994 The North Library Annex, a converted 16,000 square foot barn, (cost $1,710,000) on Devonshire Street on the North Campus, opens and now houses Technical Services, some public services and study room space. The Lindley Avenue Library Annex, a 10,000 square foot plastic dome, (cost $765,000), opened to house Fine Arts, Instructional Materials and Microform. Additionally, a 5,000 square foot study hall dome is opened.
Fall, 1994 After 68 days of construction, the Oviatt core is restored for service. The wings remain closed. The core is a concrete structure, which withstood the earthquake. The wings are a steel frame structure unable to resist the force of the quake. The cost of the core is $11 million - a substantial amount is in asbestos abatement. The general contractor is PepperWest. The project management company is Law Crandall.
Summer, 1997 The wings cannot be fully restored and have to be partially torn down.
Demolition occurs over the summer. The demolition company is Cleveland Wrecking Company.
November, 1997 Technical Services & Special Collections move out of the North Library to make way for the development of North Campus. They move to trailers in Parking Lot C (Prairie Street--PS).
July, 1998 Reconstruction of the wings begins. The cost is $22 million. The architect is George Kelly of Fields & Devereaux. The General contractor is Morse Diesel. The project management company is DMJM. The Library will have 234,712 net square feet.
September 9, 1998 A groundbreaking ceremony for the wings takes place.
September 20, 1999 A notice to proceed on the grand staircase and the terracing of the Oviatt lawn is granted. The architect is George Kelly of Fields & Devereaux. The landscape architect is Calvin Abe. The general contractor is S.J. Amoroso. The project management company is DMJM. Estimated cost is 1.2 million.
June 19, 2000 The Library commences the move into the wings. The project management company for the move is DMJM. The moving company is King Relocation. The shelving is done by Burt Gentle. The modulars are done by WCFS. The communications systems are done by ACI.
July 21, 2000 The Library completes its move into the wings and all services are open.
September 26, 2000 Oviatt Library Re-Dedication & Wings Reopening.
October 3, 2013

Grand Opening of the Oviatt Library Learning CommonsSeating capacity for students in the building is now 2526.

October 22, 2014 Opening of the Bob and Maureen Gohstand Leisure Reading Room in the West Wing of the 2nd floor.
September 2, 2014 Opening of the Creative Media Studio.
Fall 2017 Grand Opening of the renovated and expanded Special Collections & Archives, providing twice the space for storage and processing, as well as a new instructional space.
January 2018 Grand Opening of the relocated and redesigned Special Collections & Archives Reading room in the 2nd Floor core, consolidating all Special Collections & Archives offices, shelving and work spaces.
November 2019 Grand Opening of the Map Collection, which was moved from Sierra Hall to the Garden Level of the Oviatt Library.
March 2020 Grand Opening of the Teacher Curriculum Center/Music & Media. The TCC was moved from the Garden Level of the Library to the 2nd floor, East Wing, where it merged with the Music & Media Center.
December 2020 The name of the Library is changed from Delmar T. Oviatt Library to University Library, based on recommendations from the Oviatt Library Advisory Working Group and approval from President Harrison, Chancellor White, the CSUN Faculty Senate, and the Associated Students Senate.