The old Seoul City Hall building was transformed into the Seoul Metropolitan Library, a public library for all citizens, on October 26, 2012.
The Seoul Metropolitan Library was built using USEM (Underground Space Extension Method), which allowed the construction of underground structures while preserving the outside wall and the main hall of the old City Hall building, which was built in 1926. Also, the central staircase was restored for symbolic and historic significance.
In addition, the mayor’s office, on the third floor of the library, has been restored to its early 20th-century state, without damaging any of the original materials. Visitors can take pictures at the mayor’s desk, where nameplates of all the mayors have been placed. An exhibition hall on the fifth floor showcases items and parts that were discovered while dismantling the old Seoul City Hall.
The Seoul Metropolitan Library houses about 260,000 books, five-meter tall bookshelves along its walls, a reference room for people with disabilities, and a Seoul reference room. It is also equipped with an integrated book search service, which connects all libraries in Seoul, allowing easy and convenient book searches.