The city of West Hollywood was nice enough to invite us on a hard hat tour of its under-construction library, part of its 25th Anniversary Capital Project. The new 32,000 square foot library opens this fall and includes a coffee bar, children's theater, cable TV facilities, and additional meeting space for the city council and other groups. The $64 million project also adds two and a half acres of green space to West Hollywood Park--a garage affixed to the new library will add hundreds of parking spots, tennis courts will go on top of the garage, and there will be new underground parking, so current surface lots can be replaced by grass and trees. Why build a library in the age of iPhones and laptops? Project architect Steve Johnson of Johnson Favaro says the library "demonstrates that we value reading and education, and it serves as an opportunity for the community to be together under one roof." The interior is quite gorgeous--the third floor has killer views of the Pacific Design Center and the Hills (lots of filming will take place here) and the steps will surely be an iconic meeting and hangout spot. Also, artists Shepard Fairey and David Wiseman have been tapped to create art pieces for the library. Our one qualm? The auto entrance on San Vicente--it not only breaks up the pedestrian flow--many people walk up/down San Vicente--but there's not even a traffic light for cars, so pedestrians will have to dodge vehicles flying in and out. If they can get that worked out, they'll have a nice facility on their hands. Phase II of the project (no timetable yet) would level out the hilly park and clear out the old library.
· Spring Finish for West Hollywood Library [Curbed LA]