Beatley Central Library Architect Dies At The Age Of 80

by Lee Hernly, Editor

Beatley Library

The architect and designer of the Charles E. Beatley, Jr. Central Library in Alexandria, Virginia, Mr. Michael Graves, passed away from natural causes on March 12, 2015. In honor of Mr. Graves, Beatley Central Library has devoted a memorial table of his work along with a feature on the Alexandria Library website. The display includes blueprints of Graves’ library designs for Beatley, books written by Graves, and a three-dimensional model of the library, to name a few.

Graves was born on July 9, 1937 and has designed countless, beautiful architectural structures across the world, including the Denver Public Library (Denver, Colorado), the Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World (Orlando, Florida), the American Academy in Rome Rare Books Library (Rome, Italy) and most importantly, Charles E. Beatley, Jr. Central Library (Alexandria, Virginia).

Twenty years ago, many architectural firms and freelance architects jumped at the opportunity to be considered the creator of the newest Alexandria Library facility. In 1995, Graves submitted his architectural drawings to the City of Alexandria with hopes of having his work chosen as a staple in our historic town.

Three years later, in 1998, during the groundbreaking event, Graves was in attendance, along with other city officials. The celebration was a major milestone for our library system in our city. “It was always my goal to ‘up the ante’ on good design, and I’ve devoted much of my career to this.” Graves said. With an international resume of noteworthy buildings and structures, Graves’ statement continues to hold true.

Being one of four public library structures that Graves designed prior to 1996, the Alexandria Library system is honored to say that Michael Graves played an integral role in the postmodern look of the Beatley Central Library and they hope that you visit our memorial table or website in his honor.

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