Scenery will be lost in library expansion | AspenTimes.com

Scenery will be lost in library expansion

Dear Editor:

I would love to see the library folks pleased with a new space for everything they need to be up-to-date, comfortable and proud of what they can offer the Aspen community. They deserve that – Aspen deserves that.

But spreading out 60 feet into public space with a huge covered porch, which will hide so much of the incredible views on the north and west sides of Galena Plaza, seems a little overpowering. Yes, it’s because of its connection to weight-bearing posts in the parking garage, but surely there are more architectural possibilities available if given the time to pursue. It seems that there is a lot of

second-floor space that could be utilized in the library if the mezzanine was remodeled into a full second floor, too.

I would love to see a beautiful

through Galena Plaza that links Main Street with Rio Grande Park, Theatre Aspen and the John Denver Sanctuary. But is covering the space with a concrete stairway almost the size of a four-lane highway really necessary? It might be striking to see, but practical, no. Why distract from the green open-space that the plaza can be? I can’t imagine any reason a group of people would ever need to use that stairway spread out eight or more abreast.

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I would love to see many organizations be able to utilize the Galena Plaza space for performances, parties, games, etc. in the future. But if it’s all chopped up into little focus areas that don’t really allow for much versatility, the usefulness is going to be very limited. The performance amphitheater would not have enough space for the audience that has developed over the years for Hudson Reed Ensemble’s Shakespeare in the Park or the Theatre Aspen School’s children’s musical being presented there this summer; there’s very little room for tents to be used for upscale parties and events, and athletic activities would be very challenging.

This plan may be interesting to view as a drawing, but it just doesn’t seem to take advantage of the surrounding scenery or provide for enough variety of uses to please the most people.

One last thought: Is it possible to save those gorgeous, mature pines by transplanting them to other areas? Yes, it takes more effort, expertise, and expense, but while losing so many infected trees, it seems a shame to kill healthy ones.

Ricki Newman

Aspen