McCreless Branch Library 45th anniversary celebration
The McCreless Branch Library will celebrate its 45th anniversary with a community party on Sunday, August 14, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., 45 years to the day after the branch opened for public service in 1966. The event will include a birthday cake donated by H•E•B, face painting, games, and crafts for both children and adults. The featured program will be a 2:30 p.m. performance by magician Spikey Mikey, with a special birthday-party-themed show. There will also be exclusive commemorative birthday T-shirts and cups on sale; proceeds will go to support the branch library, located at 1023 Ada St. The event, which is sponsored by the Friends of the McCreless Branch Library, is free and open to the public. For more information, the public may call (210) 532-4254.
About the McCreless Branch Library
Opened on August 14, 1966, the McCreless Branch Library was designed to serve as a resource center for residents throughout the Southeast part of San Antonio and Bexar County. The site for this library was donated to the City by brothers S.E. McCreless and G.S. McCreless, developers of the former McCreless Mall shopping center. The original 5,800-square-foot library building was constructed at a cost of $98,000 and had an opening-day collection of 30,000 volumes. The project architect was Emmit R. Tuggle and the general contractor was William Matera.
After 29 years of service, the McCreless Branch closed for renovation in 1995. Construction began on October 2 and the building reopened on December 15. The project, completed at a cost of $1,169,080, enlarged the library to 12,000 square feet and included the addition of a meeting room. Architects for the renovation were Overland Partners and the general contractor was Winters Contractors.
The branch was closed for further renovations in the fall of 2006. The bond-funded improvements included carpet and paint in the meeting room, roofing, resurfacing the parking lot, and restroom improvements. Upon the branch’s reopening in November 2006, Aurelia McCreless, widow of G.S. McCreless, donated ten framed replica flags representing all the flags that have flown over Texas.
The most recent round of improvements took place in 2010, when the library received a new HVAC system, new carpeting and paint in the main section of the building, installation of exterior restroom doors, new meeting room furniture, a roof canopy over the back door, a lighted flag pole, and an enlarged parking area. The $450,000 project was funded by the 2007 City bond initiative.
About the McCreless brothers
The branch library was named for land donors G. Sealie and Sollie E. McCreless, twins who weighed three pounds each at birth. Their mother kept them in two shoeboxes on top of a wood-burning stove to keep them warm, and said that the babies were so small she could slip her wedding ring over their hands to their wrists. However, the twins thrived, growing up to eventually build McCreless Mall in 1963 and to donate the land to build the McCreless Branch Library.