Penrose Library, now undergoing a total renovation, was first completed in 1972 as the successor to the Mary Reed Library. Mary Reed, built in the 1930s, had long before run out of space. While few would argue the beauty of Mary Reed, functionally as a library it left much to be desired. The El Pomar Foundation in Colorado Springs provided funding for the construction of the Penrose Library and the library was named after Spencer Penrose. Penrose had started the foundation with his wife in 1937. He made his fortune by investing in Colorado mining during the early 20th century, and the El Pomar Foundation was his way to “give back” to Colorado. The El Pomar Foundation donated a total of four and a half million dollars to the University. It was the largest gift in the history of the foundation up to that time, as well as the largest single gift the University had ever received from a foundation. The main colors used inside of the building were yellow, orange, red, and purple. Seating was unique and included doughnut chairs and pod, or “egg” chairs. This poster welcomed visitors and features a cartoon character sitting in one of the Penrose egg chairs. Some of the egg chairs will be retained, but as a memory of the past. There will be many new distinctive furniture features in the new building, which will bring the library fully into the 21st Century.
A DUPedia article is located at http://library.du.edu/dupedia/category/places/buildings/penrose-library with more photos and information