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dan326

Downtown Library Plans

Which plan do you like the best?   16 members have voted

  1. 1. The Plans

    • Renovation
      3
    • Renovation & Expansion
      5
    • New Facility
      8

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252 posts in this topic

Here are the plans for the downtown library. Personally I like the new facility, but after all that fuss suburbanites caused to keep the main library at Independence, I'd be surprised if they even allow the city to touch the downtown branch.

These files are large so I'd suggest you download them to your computer first them view them.

"Draft designs for River Center library released

The draft designs for the East Baton Rouge Parish Library's River Center branch have been released. Trahan Architects studied three options for the 29,300-square-foot library: renovating the building and removing partitions to come up with a nearly 32,000-square-foot library; renovating the library and adding a 24,250-square-foot expansion to the south; and building a new 56,250-square-foot library. Cost figures for the options were not disclosed and the library hasn't budgeted how much it plans to spend on the downtown branch. Trahan will present the information at a special library board meeting today at 4 p.m. in the Old State Capitol.

For a look at the existing library, click here .

For a look at the renovation plans, click here .

For the renovation and expansion, click here .

For the new library plans, click here .

(Warning, the files are large)."

http://www.businessreport.com/archives/daily-report/latest/

Renovation

library1l.jpg

Renovation & Expansion

library2.jpg

New Facility

library3.jpg

Edited by dan326

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I can't tell where the entrance is on the new one or the expanded.....What ever happened to buildings that looked inviting? It looks like a giant glass box.

Don't like them at all, not that the existing one is any good.

Edited by cajun

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I can't tell where the entrance is on the new one or the expanded.....What ever happened to buildings that looked inviting? It looks like a giant glass box.

Don't like them at all, not that the existing one is any good.

Just posing a question here cajun...

what does an inviting modern building look like?

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Just posing a question here cajun...

what does an inviting modern building look like?

I hate modern architecture. I know there a huge fans on this board, but I feel like any idiot could draw a giant glass box with no apparent entrance, storefront, or any clue as to the building's purpose. That's about as attractive as a parking garage to me.

And, the municipal building behind it does nothing to help matters....nor does the fact that the Shaw Center across the street has no entrance to the side facing North Blvd. I like how they melded the old and modern buildings with that center, but they could have done something with the south face of that thing.

Edited by cajun

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Well cajun, in architecture and downtowns defense, I would advocate you please stick to the suburban offices off of Bluebonnet extension, which any architect will tell you, isnt architecture but is a waste of space and materials. It takes talent and thought to make a glass box into a relevant building. An amateur would copy preexisting buildings like the LASM, then try to make them look old(i.e. perkins rowe) and think they are an architect.

In defense of the Shaw Center, its two entrances respond to the two main arteries of the downtown fabric. Third street, and the mississippi river. The plaza they created pulls people from the old state capitol and from North Blvd, so it created a much more dynamic space. The Shaw Center is one of the only pieces of real architecture in baton rouge, where design and function have both been well thought out and integrated, so please dont call it "a thing."

Downtown deserves more than the cookie cutter architecture of the suburbs...

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Thanks for starting this thread Dan :thumbsup: I was gonna start this topic; but then saw the huge pdf's and decided not to post.

An renovation along with an addition might work well! Have not seen a price tag $$$ but hard to see a brand-new facility go up. The library is in a great location between Shaw Center, the Old State Capitol and the North Boulevard Town Square! Connecting the cultural epi-center! It could include cafe, bookstores, courtyards, auditoriums, meeting rooms, and specialized areas for children and teens. This looks to be nicer than the Main Library at Independence Park; it just won't have the administrative offices.

This looks like a possible entrance from the DDD....

rivercenterlibrary.jpg

Buckett...It's funny you mentioned those garden-offices along Bluebonnet..they call that an Urban Overlay District..it should be called Suburban...they just denied a new church be built there...it wasn't aesthetically sp? pleasing with the character of that famous french faux-paus artchitecture that dominates so much of BR.

Edited by richyb83

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^No prob. :thumbsup:

Just so ya'll know the second two pics don't show the entrances. :)

I like your idea, Richy, of a cafe, bookstore, courtyard, etc; anything to get more people downtown.

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The cafe and courtyard are good ideas, but I can hear the critics now complaining that no other library should have these amenities but the Main Library.

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The cafe and courtyard are good ideas, but I can hear the critics now complaining that no other library should have these amenities but the Main Library.

I can see critics making the same argument. However, I then think the case can be made that because of downtown branch's special location and because of the density of the surrounding area, that those amenities would be welcomed and highly demanded.

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A better defined entrance and some kind of sidewalk cafe or courtyard might ease my concerns a bit if it's done correctly. They need to set off the entrance some kind of way. I see that picture of it now, but it looks just like the other elevations, and if I'm not mistaken, it's sunken a bit, which is even worse than I thought.

Even though I hate it, I have to admit that a completely glass library is very bold, assuming you can actually see through the windows...most newer ones look like prisons or cheap concrete blocks with narrow, non-functional windows and no details whatsoever.

Bold and different aren't always better. Like it's been pointed out before, this type of style has been done before all over the country, and there is an example of this right across the street.

pleasing with the character of that famous french faux-paus artchitecture that dominates so much of BR.

Uh....don't get me started on that. It's much, much more cheesy in residential world too.

I'm not a fan of those types of offices that dot Bluebonnet, Jefferson, and Old Hammond....Not inviting at all, usually very badly positioned (although the weird zoning and codes in this town kinda dictate that). That's not even going into the fact that I hate the whole concept of "garden offices". I'm sure that as they become obsolete, which should happen in no time, they'll make for a great miniature storage.

Buckett, I've lived in a dozen cities in my lifetime much larger than Baton Rouge and I've worked for 4 years for a very large development company. I've been exposed to more than my fair share of both "bad" and "good" examples of modern architecture, which for the most part...sucks. It's a matter of taste, and I personally hate it when it's in a zero lot line area since it's a challenge to make these types of buildings attractive on that scale. The south elevation of the Shaw Center looks imposing and ugly. There's a truck dock, which isn't very well hidden, and not much else. They could have done something to mitigate the sting of that side of the building...but they didn't. It's just a giant wall.

What passes for "good" architecture in this town is kinda depressing.

Edited by cajun

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man what happened to design with character in mind.. particularly in that area of downtown. . the old state capital is directly in front of it, and they propose that monstrosity of a building to put behind it? So what is the plan, to completely surround the old state capital with modern buildings or what. That design makes the Shaw Center look traditional lmao. I'm all for modern, but throw sumthin in it to give it some character. ...besides.. that building was just plain hideous !!

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looks good, it's at the Arts Block, that puffy building would fit right in. mix the old with the new.

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It's great that you are discussing this on the forum. However, I would strongly encourage everyone to send their thoughts and comments to the library board.

There are a number of people who believe downtown is no place for a library. I personally think they are wrong, but that is my thought. :dontknow:

Anyway, please take a few minutes and let the library board know your thoughts concerning the down town library. Oh, also encourage your friends, co-workers, etc., to express their opinions too!

You can email the entire board by using the email address [email protected]

You may want to reference the Downtown Library in your email subject line.

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Is this a suprise??

Most want to replace downtown library

Most of the public comments sent to the East Baton Rouge Parish Library regarding the River Center branch favor replacing the downtown library with a new building. According to figures released today by the Downtown Development District, 56% of the public comments sent in to the library board wanted to replace the River Center branch with a new building, while 23% wanted to see the building stay the same and 21% supported renovating the downtown library. More than 100 people sent comments into the library during a two-month period. Library officials are deciding what they want to do with the downtown location.

http://www.businessreport.com/archives/daily-report/latest/

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No surprise to me that we get the giant Library in mid city AND a new/rebuilt one downtown....given the city leader's desire to please everyone. That's a good thing. A library is a great thing for downtown, especially one aimed at students and government employees. Resources for students should be something the library to consider, while other libraries in town could be more traditional.

As far as architecture, I still think that this library is a glass version of Troy Middleton Library at LSU. Even the floorplans aren't that far off.

Now that I think of it, Middleton probably wouldn't suck as bad as it does if it did have a glass facade....

Edited by cajun

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No surprise to me that we get the giant Library in mid city AND a new/rebuilt one downtown....given the city leader's desire to please everyone. That's a good thing. A library is a great thing for downtown, especially one aimed at students and government employees. Resources for students should be something the library to consider, while other libraries in town could be more traditional.

As far as architecture, I still think that this library is a glass version of Troy Middleton Library at LSU. Even the floorplans aren't that far off.

Now that I think of it, Middleton probably wouldn't suck as bad as it does if it did have a glass facade....

Ya, if middleton was good 50's architecture, no one would hate it. For example, lets say it were like the Guggenheim, no one would hate that(well, almost no one). I am all for preserving the past, but if its bad architecture, wether it was built yesterday or 100 years ago, it needs to go. Both John Desmonds work, and Middelton need to go....

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This sounds promising...Might a new building at a new location somewhere near the Post Office and the proposed Victory Park(mixed-use residential) work better? also Trahan's near-by block on North Blvd btwn 6th & 7th Street that still has yet to be developed?? This would be between Spanish Town & Beauregard Town and could work well.... The current RiverCenter branch would not be feasible to demolish + or nearly impossible to renovate the way Trahan's Building shows + parking issues...looks like it likely going to be used as a annex-type city building...or will this really be the best location??

Downtown library advocates call for breathtaking plan

About 60 people crowded into a meeting Thursday evening at the East Baton Rouge main library to learn the latest on nebulous plans to improve or replace the downtown River Center branch. Framing support of a proposed visionary architectural landmark as something more than wanting a new building, downtown residents and others campaigned for a redesigned branch that would function as a tourist magnet and as a quality-of-life asset for the city. “It’s a growing city, and downtown, like it or not, is the face of that city,” says Scott Murry, a Beauregard Town resident. Murry suggested a vanguard direction for a new building, like Salt Lake City’s elaborate downtown library, which he says “takes your breath away.” Prairieville resident Ann Shaneyfelt says of a library overhaul, “You open it up to the community, and we will come. It’s one of the things that makes me want to move back to Baton Rouge.” Spanish Town resident Andy Kopplin, the former head of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, says he hopes for collaboration among the library system, the school district and the parks department to solve parking issues and possibly create a shared performing arts space in a new River Center branch. Parish Library Director David Farrar says he is organizing an advisory committee that will consider patron comments made recently on concept plans for a retooled downtown branch; roughly 70% of respondents backed a new design. Farrar says the committee will recommend “the most financially responsible path” to the Library Board of Control, not ruling out in advance the relocation of the library branch.

http://www.businessreport.com/archives/daily-report/2010/feb/19/1479/

*the mention of Salt Lake City's downtown library had me curious...definitely has a "Wow" Factor IMO...even if the BR's is only 2/3 of this it would be impressive! Maybe 4-stories instead of 6..not quite as big..but something similar architectually??

78268.jpg

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"$13 million available for new downtown library, official says

David Farrar, executive director of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library, says his staff projects that $13 million in the system budget could go toward a new downtown branch proposed at the site of the current River Center branch. “The possibility of a new library is real,” says Farrar, who was speaking at Forum 35’s monthly lunch meeting at Juban’s. Although the library board will decide the fate of the current building, Farrar says the budget also allows, alternately, for $6 million to $10 million to renovate the property. Farrar says he is in talks with local business groups to leverage another $5 million in new market tax credits to offset the expense of a new structure, previously estimated by Trahan Architects in a conceptual design study to cost $20 million to $24 million. Farrar also says he hopes to encourage ExxonMobil to help with fund-raising efforts and perhaps to consider naming rights involved in a new downtown branch; the company is interested in physics fairs and other partner events, the director says. “We need to stay on that property, in my opinion,” Farrar says of the current site along the North Boulevard Town Square revitalization project. Farrar also says the Burbank Drive location for a new south Baton Rouge branch is out of the running because the board has not re-upped a donation offer for the land. Instead, Farrar urges support for a Rouzan branch, despite developer Tommy Spinosa’s financial troubles. “We need a library in that part of town,” Farrar says."

http://businessreport.com/archives/daily-report/latest/

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$13 million is chump change for construction these days, but I'm glad they are seeking private funding for it.

Regardless of opinions on architecture.....downtown without a decent library is just a truck load of fail.

Edited by cajun

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$13 million is chump change for construction these days, but I'm glad they are seeking private funding for it.

Regardless of opinions on architecture.....downtown without a decent library is just a truck load of fail.

I must agree, we need a functional library downtown. The current location is prime, it should not move.

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Have to admit that the proposed design is growing on me.

It's too hard to design something that "fits" with the old capitol building. Nothing complimenting that will look good next to it (it's that impressive to me).

Starting to think that they are going in ther right direction. Maybe soon they can tear down the eyesore of a municipal building....but I don't see that happening unfortunately.

Edited by cajun

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The current location is probably for the best with the new North Blvd Town Square

Downtown library will stay...Board rules out other locations for River Center branch

Members of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library Board voted unanimously Thursday to keep the River Center branch downtown at St. Louis Street and North Boulevard. The seven board members reviewed 20 sites for a downtown branch — including office buildings, vacant lots and parking lots, some of which proved to be too costly, some board members said. “The existing site continues to be the most viable,” newly appointed board member Derek Gordon said. “I don’t see other truly viable sites on this list.” The board will meet next month to hammer out whether it will renovate, expand or rebuild, said David Farrar, library director.

“We are thrilled,” said Davis Rhorer, executive director of the Downtown Development District. “That’s where our (planned) Town Square (on North Boulevard) will be constructed.” Rhorer said after the meeting that the library would be the centerpiece of that area. The Town Square would include pavilions for concerts and other activities and outdoor seating. Rhorer said several ideas are on the table to address improved parking at the downtown library.

Gayle Smith, a Baton Rouge resident who frequently attends Library Board meetings, was cautiously optimistic. “Although parking is a serious concern, renovating the current River Center branch building is absolutely the best use of taxpayer funds” Smith said she is concerned with the idea of enlarging or tearing down the library structure to rebuild it

http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/94554984.html?index=1&c=y

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From the DDD....

This should be interesting tommorrow...will the haters be there in force to complain about a waste of tax-payers $$??

EBR Library Board of Control invites you to a Public Forum

Be part of the River Center Library Project...

You are invited to review and comment on possible features and services for the Downtown Library. Weigh in on options to renovate, expand or replace the facility. Your ideas are welcome!

Monday, August 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm

The Lyceum- 124 Third Street, Baton Rouge

Free parking in the City Hall Parking Garage, Level B-1. Use entrance on St. Louis Street next to the River Center Library. Free on-street parking after 5:00 pm

A feasibility study done by Trahan Architects presents three options for the building including three varying plans with different levels of alterations.

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I sorta believe what someone else said, why did the people vote for the bill if they didn't like the idea.

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Interesting back and forth between Diva and Phil in the comments section.

The Next Chapter

The narrow aisles of the River Center branch of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library System are just wide enough that two people can awkwardly pass one another while perusing books. The small bathrooms with damaged cabinets are just barely compliant with American Disabilities Act requirements. A sign hangs on one of the doors reminding some needier patrons that “bathing, shaving and washing clothes are not permitted in library restrooms.”

A ride in the squeaky, old elevator takes a little longer than it should. The speckled red-orange carpet is a nod to 1980, the year the library was built. There’s limited computer space, a single meeting room with a 65-person capacity and minimal, aged sitting areas.

Structurally, the 26,530-square-foot library needs to be brought up to code, and the infrastructure needs to accommodate technological advancements. Aesthetically, the building needs a modern finish to keep up with the revitalization of other downtown facilities.

http://www.businessreport.com/news/2010/aug/23/next-chapter-gvpt1/

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