Posts tagged ‘Library’

Old Post Office to Become New Library Multi-Use Building

If you believe that Emily the ghost haunts the Old Galt Post Office, she is about to get a lot more company as city council approved the purchase of the building Monday night.

In putting the motion forward, Coun. Pam Wolf called the vacant landmark one of the finest examples of architecture in Cambridge.

“It’s fitting the city becomes its owner.”

The city plans to pay the $950,000 purchase price from the city’s industrial land reserve fund and then turn the vacant building into a library.

In an interview, chief librarian Greg Hayton said plans had been in place to expand the Queen’s Square Library in 2014. However, those plans were pushed back to 2016 due to budget considerations. In addition, land would have had to be expropriated. Funding will be used at the old post office.

In passing the motion, council has also directed staff to put funds into the 2013 operating and capital budget for consideration during next year’s budget process so the building can be temporarily mothballed.

Hayton said the planned expansion would have added up to 14,000 square feet to the Queen’s Square branch, which is roughly the same size as the old post office.

The building was built in 1885 as the Galt Customs House and Post Office. It was designed by Thomas Fuller, who was also responsible for design of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.

Hayton said preliminary plans for the building includes a teen-oriented library on the first floor of the building, along with a small restaurant – which will be operated by the building’s current owners, the company which owns the Cambridge Mill restaurant.

The second floor of the building is earmarked to become a family-oriented library, while the third floor will be a digital lab, Hayton said.

“We’ll have further developed the plans by the time it goes to budget,” said Hayton.

Renovations for interior and exterior work is estimated at $6 million – higher than the $5.4 million currently identified for expansion at Queen’s Square Library branch.

However, in addition to city funding, Mayor Doug Craig said the project’s public/private partnership has a good chance of receiving grants from the provincial and federal government.

As for Emily the ghost?

“I’m sure we have a library card on file for her someplace,” said Hayton.

Source: CambridgeTimes.ca

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October 1, 2012 at 7:41 pm Leave a comment

The Civic District Master Plan – Kitchener

The district, which is roughly bordered by Weber, Queen, Ellen and Frederick Streets is home to four of the city’s most important cultural institutions. But the spaces between those buildings, with the exception of a small park featuring a memorial to firefighters, are filled with parked cars during the day and empty stretches of asphalt over night. It could one day be part of a bustling urban space with cafes, benches, pedestrian walkways, parks, squares, an amphitheater – a district for the arts.

Local cultural institutions want to see this area transformed into a district showcasing public art exhibitions, theatre and music. There’s room for a university campus, walkways connecting the library to the Centre in the Square and lush landscaping.

If the Civic District Master Plan ever gets implemented it will bring more residents downtown and help lure creative class workers to the area with a cutting edge arts district.

Late next summer, construction will begin on a 400-space underground parking garage. It will be located behind the main library. Some of the surface parking will disappear and a public square will be built. Shortly after that, work begins on a 25,000-square-foot addition to the main library and a complete renovation of the existing building.

Source: TheRecord.com
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May 14, 2009 at 4:02 pm 1 comment

North London Community Recreation Centre & Library

After many years of being underserviced in the recreation department, the YMCA, London Public Library and The City of London, have partnered to bring North London a Community center. The building was designed by Shore Tilbe Irwin & Partners in Association with Cornerstone Architecture. It will be a two story contemporary style building on a site just East of the Adelaide and Sunningdale intersection.

Plans call for;

  • 8,000 Sqf Library
  • 12,000 Sqf Fitness Center
  • Aquatics Center with six-lane 25metre pool + a leisure pool with adjustable floor and splash features.
  • Double Gymnasium
  • Five  multi-purpose rooms
  • Child mind room
  • Future trail system for pedestrians and cyclists

Not only will this facility be a first in North end of the city, it is also planned to be the first Sustainable (with possible LEED certification)Community Center in London. Some of the sustainable design features are

  • Protection of Open Space
  • Energy Efficient Design
  • Passive Solar Design
  • Green Roof
  • Water Conservation
  • Natural Light
  • Use of Local Materials

A few interesting details to note;

The library will occupy the southern most  portion of the building adjacent to Sunningdale Rd E. , it will feature large spans of glass to allow for passive light. The green roof will be over the library.

The Aquatics Center will occupy the space just north of the library on the east side of the building. This space is also planned to have as much natural light as possible, accomplished by large spans of glass on the East wall (facing the proposed SWM pond)

The Grand Lobby and welcome center seems to be a pretty interesting space that connects the library, the YMCA and the Aquatics Center. It is a two storey space with lots of natural light and windows looking into the Aquatics Center, the YMCA work out gym(on the second floor) and the library. The plans also show table seating as well as comfy lounge type seating in this space. 

The YMCA portion of the building will be separated onto two floors the first floor having double gym and multi-purpose rooms. The second floor is to have one of the most unique features of any gym in London, the “serrated” windows on the second floor of the west side seen in the plan are position so that those working out have a nice view of the Downtown (thanks to the location being in North London, which on this site in particular, is fairly higher in elevation than the downtown). There will also be a track which circles the double gym on the lower floor (see plans for details)

My Point of view – From and Urban Design Perspective

Personally I really like contemporary architecture so this building in my eyes is great, and the added fact that I might be a candidate for LEEDscertification make it all the better!I have to give props to the City for finally jumping on the Sustainable building band wagon-FINALLY!   However I do have to point out a few things that should have been addressed.. In times where city hall is pushing developers to create better a public realm with built form oriented to the street, this building has done a poor job! One thing the parking lot will still be a very dominant feature on the streetscape- on the plan it shows that it will actually be larger in width than the building itself! – 2nd the main entrance is focused on the parking lot! what’s up with that!? I don’t think people would decide not to go to the center if the door would have been 40 more steps from their cars- What about those who walk? bike or take the bus? Sure the design demonstrates what they call and “Active Forecourt” but how active will this space really be? seeing as there’s no focal point and it doesn’t lead anywhere- It would have been really nice to see the front doors right on Sunningdale. Then again creating this “Active Forecourt” or urban plaza is also a first for a city Community Center it could have been worse- there could have been no sidewalk connection with a just grass, a berm or even worse the PARKING LOT!

Now on to the MANY Images! 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

 

*JrUD

February 14, 2009 at 12:08 am 4 comments


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