Stephens Central Library San Angelo, Texas

Once the social and geographic center of town, the Hemphill Wells Department Store stood vacant for twenty years. Retaining a special place in the hearts of San Angelo citizens, the community seized the opportunity to renew the Hemphill Wells Building’s past grandeur and contribute to redeveloping the downtown area by reusing the space to house the library.

  • Location

    San Angelo, Texas

  • Sector


  • Service


  • Client

    Tom Green County Library

  • Status


  • Size

    80,000 SF

Privately funded, the project was a testament to the donors’ commitment of rejuvenating the city and supporting the library’s mission.

While maintaining the overall character of the old department store, an undulating glass facade on street level transforms this introverted building into an extroverted center of activity. Inviting the community to come in and experience the programs offered, the visual transparency allows passersby and onlookers to see the activities within, encouraging increased participation.

Also serving as a new hub for civic gatherings and community activities, the ground floor and penthouse encourages after-hours use by local residents, enhancing the building’s symbolic and functional openness.