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Questplex - New Main Library/Children's Museum

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The Montgomery City-County Public Library System wants to build a new main library downtown. Architects are drawing up plans for the new facility, and an effort is underway to launch a fundraising drive to raise the needed money. Library board president Gary Burton said the goal is to keep the main library in downtown Montgomery as an anchor for downtown revitalization.

Great news! This is an opportunity for Montgomery to build a landmark urban library. The existing main library (the Morgan Library) is a hideous example of 1950s/60s design at its worst, and will not be missed.

Montgomery Advertiser

Existing Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library

MPLfront.jpg

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I sure have some fond memories of that library. ( and I met some cute Lanier girls there also)!

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I should have worded that differently. I'm sure there are thousands of people with fond memories of spending time in that library.

If a new statehouse isn't built at 1 Court Square, that would be a great place for the new library. Imagine a library with doors opening onto the square, and with a bookstore and cafe (with outdoor seating) fronting the square.

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The city recently announced that One Court Square (renamed One Dexter Plaza) will be redeveloped into Questplex, which will be the new location of the main library and the Children's Museum of Alabama, a hands-on science and technology museum. Financing and planning efforts are underway, so hopefully there will be much to say about this project in the coming months.

Project website: Questplex

Project page at Dover Kohl website: One Court Square

A few potential project renderings and drawings from Dover Kohl & Partners:

Questplex1.jpg

Questplex2.jpg

Questplex4.jpg

Questplex6.jpg

Questplex7.jpg

Questplex8.jpg

Renderings with existing One Court Square building:

Questplex3.jpg

Questplex5.jpg

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So it looks like they're going for a more traditional design as opposed to something more modern. I think I'd prefer something more modern that respects the more traditional context. That's what Augusta's new downtown library does which I rather like:

AugustaLibrary-1.jpg

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So it looks like they're going for a more traditional design as opposed to something more modern. I think I'd prefer something more modern that respects the more traditional context. That's what Augusta's new downtown library does which I rather like:

AugustaLibrary-1.jpg

Even Augusta's building is little too conservative design for my taste. They should think about it being a larger building to house both library and science museum. I've been to the Columbus, OH science museum when I was younger and it was 5 stories with outdoor exhibits. That was just housing the science exhibits.

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I think Augusta's design works well because it's modern, yet fitting for its context within the historic district. Best of all, it does a great job of addressing the street. I think Montgomery should take a similar approach.

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I do like that Augusta design, but I don't think it's the right choice for this location. I prefer a neoclassical building that at least somewhat evokes the state capitol at the other end of Dexter, and creates impressive book ends that terminate both views of the grandest vista in Alabama. Additionally, Court Square got its name from a 19th century courthouse that sat on this site, and a neoclassical building honors that history as well.

A few photos of the 1970s One Court Square building, now renamed 1 Dexter Plaza.

OneDexter4.jpg

OneDexter3.jpg

OneDexter5.jpg

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I do like that Augusta design, but I don't think it's the right choice for this location. I prefer a neoclassical building that at least somewhat evokes the state capitol at the other end of Dexter, and creates impressive book ends that terminate both views of the grandest vista in Alabama.

Gotcha. Maybe the design of the library in Florence, SC would work better:

180743786_02ab35186f_z.jpg

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Now we're talking! If they put in a cafe on the left side - opening into the square with outdoor seating - it would help create a vibrant and energetic atmosphere, especially with a bunch of kids running around. I just hope they get it right.

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I am actually extremely excited about this project, but does anyone know any planned dates for this? Start date? Estimated finish?

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I am actually extremely excited about this project, but does anyone know any planned dates for this? Start date? Estimated finish?

After the city purchased the property they annouced a facade contest that was suppose to be over in March or April but I haven't heard anything else about that.

Edited by Thedarkone1977

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After the city purchased the property they annouced a facade contest that was suppose to be over in March or April but I haven't heard anything else about that.

Interesting, maybe we'll hear something soon.

Welcome to UP! :hi:

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I drove past the building on Friday and they had a Questplex sign up on the front of it (facing the Court Square fountain).

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I drove past the building on Friday and they had a Questplex sign up on the front of it (facing the Court Square fountain).

 

Good eye! The fundraising campaign for Questplex, the $22.5 million renovation of the One Court Square building, was officially announced last summer. Questplex will include the new downtown City-County Public Library and the Children's Museum of Alabama. According to the Questplex website, the capital campaign has raised about $2 million of the $5.5 million since last summer.

 

Edit: First two exterior renderings seem to be the most common. Not sure which version is final.

 

 

Links:  Questplex website

 

Questplex seeks pledges: $5.5 million in donations needed for library, children's museum

 

QuestPlex1.jpg

QuestPlex3.jpg

Questplex2-1.jpg

Questplex_library.jpg

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Unfortunately, the Questplex project was cancelled due to a lack of funding. The One Court Square building was sold to a private developer and will be part of a major revitalization effort around Court Sqare and lower Dexter Ave. More info about the new plans and property owner in the Market District thread.

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