Best Library

Jannes Library

For most city dwellers, the neighborhood coffee shop has replaced the local library as the hub of urban intellectualism. Though its research librarians can't help in the caffeine department, Jannes Library feels like a trendy java joint with an added dash of artsy inspiration. Perched atop a tree-lined hill on the grounds of the Kansas City Art Institute, this 1912 Georgian-style mansion was renovated by BNIM Architects in 2002. It's no wonder the environmentally minded firm won a pair of awards for its efforts. The brick estate retains the regal air of higher learning, but the spacious, sunny interior is anything but uppity. Our favorite aspect: the magazine reading room on the south side of the building, where students and art fans can lounge in one of the leather chairs and peruse the latest issues of Craft or Juxtapo or sit at one of the small wooden tables and steal glances at the shade-dappled hill while tapping away on a laptop.
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