The Irish Cultural Center of Phoenix has announced plans to expand its operations into a 11,000-square-foot Irish Cultural Center Library that will be the first of its kind in the Southwest.
The spot at 1106 North Central Avenue will feature more than 6,000 books, a performance space, and a slick genealogical research institution. It's scheduled to be finished in January 2012.
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So if you've always believed that you might be related to Saint Patrick (who wasn't even born in Ireland, by the way), especially while trashed on green beer at some excuse for a bar every March 17, this will be the place for you to find out.
The building-in-the-making was funded by private donations while the City of Phoenix provided the land. The non-profit Irish Cultural and Learning Foundation will run the library.
"The West was developed by a large number of Irishman and Arizona had a good share of them," says Bill O'Brien, co-chairman of the Irish Cultural and Learning Foundation Library. He estimates that there are roughly 500,000 people of Irish descent in Arizona.
A ceremonial signing of the building agreement takes place at 9 a.m. Saturday, January 22, while a groundbreaking shindig is scheduled for February 13 at 2 p.m. See www.azirish.org.