Jump to content
HAIF - Houston's original social media

Central Library Renovation


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 123
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Houston-council-moves-forward-on-Barbara-Bush-12864943.php   https://www.houstonlibraryfoundation.org/plazacaseforsupport  

http://www.downtowntirz.com/projects/        

Project by project, block by block, this city is being remade and I absolutely love watching it happen. 

I don't know if any of you have ever been in our downtown library, but it is absolutely abhorred. It is dirty, ugly, and is more of a "free daycare" than an educational institution. The article says that it will be close until 2007 and spending like 14 mill., so that sounds to me that they will be really fixing the place up.

http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/stories...tml?jst=b_ln_hl

Link to post
Share on other sites
Not really, I don't go to the librabry.........onnly time I do is to use an internet terminal. Other than that I go to a Barnes an Noble to read books.

I guess its a good thing you're not the sole voice of the 2.1 million taxpayers who fund the library then.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This has been in the works for a couple of years now. I know that in late 2004 and early 2005 they had some renderings in the main lobby area on the ground floor of what the interior will look like when completed. It looked really nice, although one thing I didn't like was the replacement of the current escalators with stairs. I'm not sure if that's still the plan or not though.

While I like the library building, the interior really needs refurbishment. The carpets are worn all the way through to the concrete below in places, and the furniture is in desperate need of replacement. But this is not just a cosmetic renovation. Structural changes to the building's floorplan are going to greatly increase the amount of public space in the facility. I believe they are also installing a wi-fi network throughout the building, and reworking all of the plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems as well. The plaza in front of the library is also going to be rebuilt.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well.

I've heard this renovation has been in the works for a long time. I've heard since 1998. I also heard they were going to get the ball rolling in 2004. There's been some delays and proposal changes. But now, they got the okay, to go on with this project.

They're going to get rid of the escalators, and replace it with stairs. I know that can't go over well with us "fat houstonians." Those escalators suck. Sometimes, if you're riding on it, they stop all of a sudden. They're going to replace the two old elevators and add a third elevator in in the middle area.

They're going to be repaving the plaza area. When it rains, water leaks below into some offices. Yup, under that plaza, there are offices in there.

That red looking sculpture called Geometric mouse or whatever. That's going to be moved to in front of the Julia Ideson building.

They target opening day for the building will be at the end of 2007.

The Julia Ideson building will still be opened though.

I don't know if any of you have ever been in our downtown library, but it is absolutely abhorred. It is dirty, ugly, and is more of a "free daycare" than an educational institution. The article says that it will be close until 2007 and spending like 14 mill., so that sounds to me that they will be really fixing the place up.

http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/stories...tml?jst=b_ln_hl

Man, that is soooo true. The place isn't nice. I think this is the first major renovation in the buildings history. The carpet sucks. It's just a thin layer. I wouldn't go as far as calling the library an educational system.

This has been in the works for a couple of years now. I know that in late 2004 and early 2005 they had some renderings in the main lobby area on the ground floor of what the interior will look like when completed. It looked really nice, although one thing I didn't like was the replacement of the current escalators with stairs. I'm not sure if that's still the plan or not though.

While I like the library building, the interior really needs refurbishment. The carpets are worn all the way through to the concrete below in places, and the furniture is in desperate need of replacement. But this is not just a cosmetic renovation. Structural changes to the building's floorplan are going to greatly increase the amount of public space in the facility. I believe they are also installing a wi-fi network throughout the building, and reworking all of the plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems as well. The plaza in front of the library is also going to be rebuilt.

Yeah, they're killing the escalators for the stairs, which I am in favor of. I just hope this doesn't mean more people will use the elevators. There is actually alreaday a wi-fi network there. It's located on the second floor in the business section of the library.

Link to post
Share on other sites
They're going to get rid of the escalators, and replace it with stairs. I know that can't go over well with us "fat houstonians." Those escalators suck. Sometimes, if you're riding on it, they stop all of a sudden. They're going to replace the two old elevators and add a third elevator in in the middle area.

That red looking sculpture called Geometric mouse or whatever. That's going to be moved to in front of the Julia Ideson building.

They target opening day for the building will be at the end of 2007.

I say keep and just refurbish the escalators. They'll be originals and considered classics one day.

And Mickey Mouse; hopefully moving to the Ideson is only temporary as it would clash horribly with the beauty of that 1926 building. It needs to go back in front once renovation is complete as it's very '70s.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Will microfilm/microfiche records be available during reconstruction? Where will they be housed?

I could look into that.

I say keep and just refurbish the escalators. They'll be originals and considered classics one day.

And Mickey Mouse; hopefully moving to the Ideson is only temporary as it would clash horribly with the beauty of that 1926 building. It needs to go back in front once renovation is complete as it's very '70s.

Escalators are gone for sure. The new staircase will be "a grand staircase."

and Geometric Mouse is staying in front of the Ideson building permanently.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am glad to see the upgrade. All in all I think the Houston Library is a joke. It serves more as a homeless shelter than a library. Especially when compared to others like the Boston Library of New York library. After all Houston is the 4th largest city in the USA. evern Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have better libraries.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The library boasts a high volume count and calls itself "world class," but statistics like that are misleading. In terms of the depth of serious reading you can do there, it is roughly the equivalent of a good high school library. Someone should take the Modern Library's poll of the 100 best fiction and 100 best nonfiction books of the twentieth century and see how many show up in a card catalog search. I bet only a small portion, and the ones they do have are probably scattered all around the branch libraries.

At some point very early on, somebody in the library decided that building a serious collection of volumes was not a priority. I'm not sure where the money goes - probably technology and interactive crap. Luckily the Fondren library at Rice is open to non-students, so that is usually where I go if I am looking for a book in Houston.

I once saw a website that overviewed the serious libraries in the United States, and the only two in Texas were located in Austin and in College Station. It's sad - Houston is probably the largest city in America without a great research library.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

holy crap, do we have to bash every single good thing that happens to this city, yeah smart one its the same building, and mybe if you read the article you'd see why its not a brand new building, maybe thats why its called a RENOVATION, and it looks good, bettwr than before, looks more unique

man a lot of things are gonna be done by late 2007, Pavilions, the new downtown park, and our library, downtowns gonna be nice

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

I guess I could give an update...

The escalators are done. They've been removed for a month or so now. I think on the second floor is where they have done the most work. They moved the book shelves that were on the second floor to the third and first floor.

They're currently working on the sixth floor also, I think. That's where IT used to be housed, and other old crap.

yeah :mellow:

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...
  • 6 months later...

New features include a more open lobby area off the parking garage. The escalators have been replaced by elevators and a grand staircase, with the concourse area reconfigured for a large meeting room, computer training center and staff work space.

Other floors will feature a world languages center, an art museum-like gallery, an area for career research and spaces for children and teens.

There will also be a drive-through book drop-off via the Bagby Street entrance.

The library is having a preview for donors on May 17 and a public grand opening May 31 and June 1.

http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/stories...63&ana=e_du

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey, if Barnes and Noble can have a coffee section, along with available WiFi, why can't the library?

WIFI is already in most Houston libraries paid for by taxes and hopefully used for education purposes. coffee shop paid for at taxpayer expense doesn't quite fit the bill IMO. Even more importantly, the possibility of damaging documents with liquids, etc isn't something I would want for a public library.

B&N can do what they want with their money.

How often do you frequently the downtown library?

Link to post
Share on other sites
WIFI is already in most Houston libraries paid for by taxes and hopefully used for education purposes. coffee shop paid for at taxpayer expense doesn't quite fit the bill IMO. Even more importantly, the possibility of damaging documents with liquids, etc isn't something I would want for a public library.

B&N can do what they want with their money.

How often do you frequently the downtown library?

Since I've been back to Houston in 2004 about 7 times. However it's been closed for a couple of years.

Nevertheless, libraries must change with the times. There is little to attract me there and I'm sure others share that opinion.

This is closed.

If you want to see a library, go check out Seattle's.

And the main library in Los Angeles. Wonderful.

Link to post
Share on other sites
yeah i guess some people go to drink coffee instead of reading or researching.

The two aren't mutually exclusive.

Let's see...

Seattle has a coffee cart:

http://www.spl.org/default.asp?pageID=bran...d=1180653776339

Chicago has complimentary WiFi:

http://www.chipublib.org/aboutcpl/wifi.php

... and they're doing an RFP for a (private?) coffee shop:

http://www.chipublib.org/rfp/

NYPL has free Wifi:

http://www.nypl.org/branch/services/wifi.html

Link to post
Share on other sites

you mentioned wifi and i don't have a problem with that as i said earlier.

if they can separate liquids and reading materials then it would work. with the number of children that access the libraries here, not sure how successful the limits could be maintained.

for you to be going to a library and say "there is little to attract me there" unless there is a coffee shop seems odd to me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

UH has vending but it is strictly outside of the stacks, which is important for a collection.

IF the downtown library were to allow food/drink around the books, it should probably be in a confined section.

Fwiw, Rice is building a coffee "pavilion" just outside of the library.

Link to post
Share on other sites

People 30 years from now will use libraries in a completely different way. Assuming this renovation is intended to last that long, I think a cafe and all of these other extra things are definitely appropriate. As someone else pointed out, it's not abnormal to find such amenities in a public library.

Edited by N Judah
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't object actually to the idea of cafes in libraries, but that said, America is hardly lacking for coffee joints. Libraries shouldn't feel as if they need to replicate the Starbucks experience. "Would you like a pastry with that?"

Link to post
Share on other sites
you mentioned wifi and i don't have a problem with that as i said earlier.

if they can separate liquids and reading materials then it would work. with the number of children that access the libraries here, not sure how successful the limits could be maintained.

for you to be going to a library and say "there is little to attract me there" unless there is a coffee shop seems odd to me.

My quote: " Nevertheless, libraries must change with the times. There is little to attract me there"

I am just saying that libraries, just like any industry must change with the times. People expect a different experience than the ones I had growing up ... I can remember the sun-filled skylights at my little community library down on Orem. Folks these days want a decidedly different experience.

At least I do.

Link to post
Share on other sites

they are changing with the times IMO but its primary purpose remains fairly evident by the defintion. if its primary purpose evokes the words "there is little to attract me there" from you, then you're looking for something else, not a library.

Definitions of library on the Web:

a room where books are kept;

a collection of literary documents or records kept for reference or borrowing

a depository built to contain books and other materials for reading and study

(computing) a collection of standard programs and subroutines that are stored and available for immediate use

a building that houses a collection of books and other materials

Link to post
Share on other sites
they are changing with the times IMO but its primary purpose remains fairly evident by the defintion. if its primary purpose evokes the words "there is little to attract me there" from you, then you're looking for something else, not a library.

Definitions of library on the Web:

a room where books are kept;

a collection of literary documents or records kept for reference or borrowing

a depository built to contain books and other materials for reading and study

(computing) a collection of standard programs and subroutines that are stored and available for immediate use

a building that houses a collection of books and other materials

Alright, you win the war of definition, but I am hoping for a modern library with modern conveniences.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Count me in supporting a coffee/cafe-type facility in a library. It could easily work in leased space inside the library or attached to it--purposefully away from the kids' collections. I also trust adults not to be so clumsy and spill liquids on priceless writings--which area and should be kept and not allowed out of specific areas anyway. A general collection book that has coffee spilled on it can be billed to that person--or maybe I trust people too much.

Edited by GovernorAggie
Link to post
Share on other sites

The Montrose public library has a cafe just outside of it, near the Black Lab. People go into the library check out books, go next door, and read them while sipping on coffee. The library doesn't have its own cafe, but the cafe next door works very well, and could also work downtown.

The new coffee pavilion at Rice is going to be really nice. It sucks going in on the weekend when you can't get much to eat or drink anywhere (besides maybe Valhalla).

Link to post
Share on other sites
Count me in supporting a coffee/cafe-type facility in a library. It could easily work in leased space inside the library or attached to it--purposefully away from the kids' collections. I also trust adults not to be so clumsy and spill liquids on priceless writings--which area and should be kept and not allowed out of specific areas anyway. A general collection book that has coffee spilled on it can be billed to that person--or maybe I trust people too much.

Yeah, it could easily be an area for refreshments and other areas would be no food/drink allowed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...



×
×
  • Create New...