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VeeFan

Possible Flint Public Library Expansion

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http://www.mlive.com/news/fljournal/index....1850.xml&coll=5

There was a good article in tonights paper about the library considering to expand and make improvements to the building sometime in the future.

The article I linked to doesn't give the rundown on the two main designs, so here's what's listed in the paper.

Egg Shape - A 130,000-square-foot egg-building could include an auditorium, cafe and bookstore, and go up to a third story. The interior Reading Room features two elevators, two winding staircases and a large open area.

Triangle Shape - A 120,000-square-foot to 130,000-square-foot building resembling an equilateral triangle. The building could include an auditorium, cafe and bookstore and would go up to a third story. The interior Reading Room includes a large open space, service desks, two elevators, staircase and a skylight.

I personally like the sketches of the egg design. because it's modernity that is desperately needed in the city. The exterior of the triangle design is very bland, and possibly no changes would be made to it?

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Not having seen the sketches, it's impossible for me to favor one design over the other. I will say that no matter which design gets chosen, it will change...architecture is like that. They will decide that it costs too much, and then will cut down the overall size and try to cut corners until the price tag is something affordable.

I definitely like the idea of an expanded library. I know when I was still living up there I always tried to go to the main library instead of the local branches. There's just something about going to the main library that I like. Maybe it's the fact that I can find anything I could want under one roof, I don't know.

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Hopefully this is allowed by the board rules, but I scanned in the sketches that were in the paper tonight. The largest picture is the exterior of the egg, the first picture on the left is the exterior of the triangle, middle is the interior of the triange, and the one on the right is the interior of the egg.

post-1725-1145422603_thumb.jpg

post-1725-1145422603_thumb.jpg

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Wow, 130,000 square feet?! That is a huge expansion for a smaller library. The circular design looks like the design of Kalamazoo's really nice central library:

central_landing_lg.jpg

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My city's central library is pretty bland, too small, and dated, and there are no plans to expand it, though they keep renovating the inside. lol

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I definitely prefer the egg-shaped design to the traingle-shaped design. The triangle design is pretty blah, IMO.

The reading room of the triangle design reminds me a lot some of the spaces in the Southfield Public Library. They did a pretty good job with that library. It has become a real community center for families. The library is one of the few redeeming things in Southfield, LOL. I really enjoy spending time there. People have criticized the library because it cost so much money when it was constructed, but it was worth it.

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The interior of the Kalamazoo library reminds me of one of the museums in Washington, D.C. It's a good design, although the exterior is a bit odd.

I get the feeling that the egg design would make it look a bit like the Thompson Library, and I wouldn't mind that at all because I love the atrium. :D Although the public library probably wouldn't have as good of scenery though. ;)

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It looks like I spend way too much time composing posts. Maybe if I didn't have 45 internet windows open at one time while working in AutoCAD, Sketchup, Photoshop, Word, & Excel and running iTunes and Instant Messenger..... :lol:

Kalamazoo's library looks quite nice. I didn't even know they had recently constructed a new library...I am not too familiar with what's going on over that way.

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man, that egg shaped one looks real nice, i hope this one goes through

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Nice! I didn't see that coming. I thought the FPL would be the eyesore of the Cultural Center for quite some time. Like everyone else said, the egg-shaped design is the obvious choice.

If this gets done, I'm going to try to make it a point to visit on a regular basis. Once I discovered the Internet (way back when), my interest in libraries has steadily declined.

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I worked at the Flint Public Library as a teenager. At that time, the library was still under the auspicies of the Board of Education. (I was the youngest person in history on the Board of Education payroll at age 14).

I worked in the Loan Department shelving books and used to empty the drop box off on Kearsley St.

Here's a quick funny story: One day in the late afternoon in 1968, the weather was getting really bad and I went out to get the books from the drop box. Much to my surprise, (and like something out of the twilight zone), when I came back into the library, the library was completely EMPTY - everyone had vanished - not a soul in sight! Turns out that there was a tornado warning (the sirens had not been turned on yet), and everyone was told to go to the basement. Guess they forgot about me! I can laugh now, but it was really weird looking around that whole library until I finally found everyone.

Although I've been in California now for almost 30 years, on vacation last year, I took my children back to Flint and stopped in at the libary. It was really depressing. Going into the "back room" of the loan department, they still had the exact same reserve shelves (and antiquated system) from 38 years ago. The reference desks from each of the individual departments (general reading, general reference) were gone and so with it the "specialists" that worked in each department. (They really knew their stuff).

Now there are a couple of desks you can go to, but as I understand it, the library now "revolves" the staff around from department to department on a regular basis and you don't get that real knowledge about each department that was there years ago.

And what struck me more than anything else (sad to say), was the large security kiosk right in the middle of the main floor.

Also the neighboorhood isn't quite as picturesque as I remember it. Someone told me that Central High was or is closing as well.

In any case, I hope the library can get back into shape. I'd love to come and visit it again and see a "new" look. Good luck.

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