Library is fine the way it is
August 1, 2012
We love our current library and current civic plaza on Galena Street. It is the corridor to Aspen’s historic structures from the Hotel Jerome on Mill Street to our historic Pitkin County Courthouse built in 1891.
The design of our present library is neo-classic and complements our historic 19th- century Victorian structures, giving homage to them in style and scale. Even the Community Bank building, the Rio Grande Commons building and Pitkin County Jail were all designed with careful consideration in style and scale to enhance our Victorian heritage.
The city and county should just move forward with repairing the parking-garage ceiling and sod it over with green grass for its continued use as a civic park. It will be a minimal cost for the city and will bring renewed vitality to the civic center.
If not, the taxpayers are going to be saddled with spending $10 million on a 7,200-square-foot canopy at $1,500 a square foot, under which is undedicated space. The canopy obliterates our beautiful park and open space and seems senseless when the library could proceed with a simple interior reconfiguration for its other needs for now.
The city and library board could look at the many other alternatives already presented to them for additional community meeting space, such as the old water plant that the art museum will soon be vacating.
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The proposed expensive, inappropriate canopy takes away from the Victorian character of Aspen in one of the most valued public spaces we have. Approving such an expensive canopy on a public plaza would be a mistake, especially when the expansion of our present library is not really necessary at all!