Monday, September 9, 2013

A New Building for the Madison (WI) Public Library

Postcard showing 1965 building
The new building
A new library building is a once in a generation event in the history of a library. I was privileged to participate in a gala celebration for the completion of a new Central Library for the Madison (WI) Public Library on Saturday evening, September 7. Although the new building might technically be considered a renovation of an existing building, the renovation was so extensive that it is essentially a new facility. See newspaper article on new building and photographs. The previous building was completed in 1965 and is shown on the postcard above. That building was functional for 46 years without an expansion which is a testimonial to its original design and the soundness of its basic structure. The new building cost $30 million and the Madison Public Library Foundation was charged with raising $9 million of that amount. To date the Foundation has raised $8 million. Madison was the recipient of a grant from Andrew Carnegie for a Central Library that was completed in 1906 and a branch library. The Central Library Carnegie (see postcard below) which also housed Wisconsin's library school for over 30 years was razed to make way for a parking lot. The branch has been repurposed as an office building.

1906 Carnegie building

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