The Pratt City Library was a hub of social, academic, and community affairs of this northwest Birmingham neighborhood. Severely damaged in the April 2011 tornadoes, the building renovation provides a new symbol of hope, recovery, and progress, and a “living room for the community”. The design gleans much of the former library’s exterior and reconstructs the primary reading room as a glass “lantern” overseeing the neighborhood. The lantern symbolizes the light of knowledge, while evoking the coal mining heritage of the neighborhood. The facility incorporates multiple museum-quality displays of historic artifacts, and features a tornado safe room.