While everyone (ok, maybe not EVERYONE but at least one or two people) is wondering about the fate of the Queen Mary, there's another development story brewing in Long Beach. A reader writes in to warn of us "the seemingly imminent destruction of Acres of Books (Ray Bradbury's favorite bookstore!)." Not Ray Bradbury's favorite bookstore! Where will Ray stock up on all of his favorite books on monorails? The reader points us to this article in The District Weekly. According to the District, Acres of Books (and they do mean acres - its "750,000 books and about six-and-a-half miles of shelves") may be displaced as a result of Long Beach's redevelopment plan known as Broadway Block. But the city has cried wolf before and Acres of Books has survived. Yet this time the city is saying its serious. If Acres of Books goes, in its place Long Beach gets condos and art. Bu-bye books. Hello Art Exchange:
The idea is that along with such niceties as underground parking and ground-floor retail, there’d be art—the exciting X-factor in this development. It could be art galleries, live-work studios, or a shiny new satellite home for the Cal State Long Beach University Art Museum. As with many other aspects of the development—like the eventual style of its architecture—it’s too early to say for sure what kind of art it will have.While the city moves ahead on the Broadway Block project, Acres' future is uncertain. One of the principals in the development firm claims “We’ve talked about the challenge of saving the entire building, and we’ve talked about the possibility of saving the attractive art-deco facade,” Atkins says. “If we save the facade of the building—particularly if we’re able to relocate that facade—it gives us the opportunity to use that facade in the project in a different way.” The article goes into a lengthy explanation of Long Beach's criteria and process for historical preservation but we just couldn't move past "shiny new satellite home." Its sounds so modern! So futuristic! So shiny!
EMINENT DOMAIN [The District Weekly]