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jeep

Landmark Library in Downtown Raleigh?

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Hi new to the forum...longtime reader first time poster...

Read a Slate article "Borrowed Time" this morning on how cities have approached libraries in the past 20 years in the "digital age/google age", especially downtown main libraries, examples Chicago, SLC, San Fran, Seattle...even Nashville and Jacksonville (some modeled on the "City Beautiful" movements of the past)

They are acting as urban public meeting centers, but still bricks and mortars for books and importantly architectually defining and inspiring.

What does everyone think of a landmark structure downtown to be Raleigh/Wake County HQ/main library...? Does anyone know if this has been discussed or rumored before? It would seem fitting for a revitalized downtown and for an area widely known, grown, and based on its population's "Knowledge Quotient."

I believe a landmark influential structure that intices the public to gather, transfer, and even celebrate knowledge, and that upon entering intrinsically inspires one to read, write, discover, and understand...

Just my two cents...

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A downtown library has been discussed quite a bit before.... I seem to remember that the proposed but dead Lichten Plaza next to PE I was supposed to have library in it....not freestanding as you bring up but it was mentioned... also many years ago, Century Post Office was discussed as a library site. The libraries are controlled by the County, and while money was obviously spent on the Cameron Village branch, I doubt the County would ever invest in a huge landmark structure.

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Pigs will fly the day the county invests in a landmark structure.

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(The mods might rename this thread's title to "Landmark Library, Downtown Raleigh" to be more specific....just a thought.)

Except for Wake, the other main Triangle counties do have a main library branch in their respective County Seat's downtown: A nice big one in downtown Durham for Durham County; downtown Hillsborough for Orange County; and downtown Pittsboro for Chatham County.

Will Wake ever figure out that this would make sense? I dunno...unlike Durham or Orange County, Wake's Commissioners are way more influenced by the suburban interests than from their city constituencies. <_<

Perhaps as downtown Raleigh grows and spreads, Cameron Village Branch could be a "West Downtown" library and the Harrison Branch on New Bern Ave could be a "East Downtown" library (albeit needing renovations & expansion). Who knows.

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Whenever I hear about this 'concepts' for downtown and elsewhere I have a habit of brainstorming what I think it should look like (although it was when i was still a teenager). The idea of a landmark library is very inspiring to me, especially when you see grand libraries in movies and tv...

Anyways, I always envisioned a library near the Moore Square Station overlooking Moore Square Park. I don't think that Wake County alone would propose a landmark library downtown but I think if several groups including the City of Raleigh, Wake County, Wake County School System, and other groups that would benefit from it came together, it would be feasible and a worthy investment.

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^ True. Back when people were complaining about the under-utilization of Exploris (before the merger with Playspace was started) people talked about putting a downtown Library branch in the building. With Marbles though, I kinda doubt it'll be pursued anymore.

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Until the day some local tycoon dies and leaves mega millions of dollars specifically earmarked for a downtown library, it will never happen.

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I think it's more likely that we'll see a main branch library as an anchor tenant to a privately developed mixed use building.

I would support that conceptually and thought that, while it wasn't a landmark structure, the Lichten proposal was quite elegant architecturally. Having a public meeting space and community-focused center in the heart of downtown would be a great addition to what is becoming an increasingly complex street scene. Can't one just imagine a tower with a ground floor library branch with meeting rooms and facilities, with offices above and artists/writers lofts above that!

The County hopes its development of the judicial center (moderators can link us to that thread, I'm sure) will be of the landmark variety (and I think it will be, although I'm on record as opposed to the destruction of the historically significant buildings there now), and perhaps it will be. My preference, though, is for County and other public functions to be better integrated into the downtown. A 21st century high-tech library would work particularly in a mixed use setting. The County could even partner with the Chamber to provide incubator space to serve emerging companies and the Creative Class we hope will be continuing to come downtown.

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It looks like Austin, TX is looking into the same idea.

http://www.cityofaustin.org/library/newcentlib_rsrc.htm

There seems to be a large chunk of land around Memorial Auditorium. This would also complement the extension of Fayetteville St, the Convention Center, and the development of Site 1 very well and also be very beneficial to Shaw.

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*If* the County had real progressive minds, they would go for a sweet double tower with the library tower rising between and behind the Garland Jones and Lawyers Buildings and the new courtrooms rising flush up on McDowell with a parking deck wedged in between them. The library would add some non-penal(hate that word) activity to the area finally. I don't know if it would be an asset to Campbell or not but I sense an ability to make court-library-law school work together somehow.

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