Sunday, September 18, 2011
Tulsa World Editorial Board on Central Library Renovation: Putting Lipstick on a Pig
Central Library will get a fix-up. (Tulsa World, 9/17/2011)
Excerpt: Starting from scratch would have been preferable considering that the library is in an area that competes for parking with the downtown post office, two courthouses - state and federal - and the city's Police-Courts Building. In the best of all worlds, the library would be relocated elsewhere downtown and the Page Belcher Federal Building would be torn down so that an area could be developed between the BOK Center and a new hotel (on the site of the old City Hall).
Renovation to the downtown library will be paid for from a capital fund set aside for facility improvements. Most of the cost will go toward infrastructure and mechanical system improvements, especially lighting. Exterior signs will change, and access to the drive-through and drop-off areas may be improved. Most of the renovation will not be visible to library users.
Renovation follows years of debate over how to improve the library. Several studies indicated that the facility's mechanical systems are inadequate, dated and in need of replacement.
Tulsans had the chance to relocate the library on Denver Avenue near 11th Street, a perfect site, with plenty of parking and easy access and an added bonus: The land would be donated by the Schusterman Foundation.
Voters rejected the plan. Now the commission is doing what it must: Giving the go-ahead to put lipstick on a pig.