Walker Library’s demolition approved by Hennepin board

Demolition of the Walker Library in Minneapolis’ Uptown neighborhood was approved this week by the Hennepin County Board, as plans advance to replace the old underground library with a more modern facility.

But it won’t get started until next year, so you don’t have to rush in to return those videos.

The library, at 2880 Hennepin Ave. S., was in dire need of updating and repairs, and the decision was made to replace it at an overall cost of $12 million.

The county says the new library “will include a 15,000-square-foot single-program level with a two-story visual appearance, 24-space underground parking area for library customers, street-level building entrance, sustainable design methods and materials, more public computers and additional bicycle parking.”

Officials are still working on an overview of the new design, so demolition might not start until next fall, and the current building will stay open at least into the spring.

Scheduled opening date for the new library is spring 2014.

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by David Greene on 11/30/2011 - 04:23 pm.

    The renderings I have seen so far elicit a big yawn. I like the natural lighting but that’s about it. It’s about as bland as a building can be, though not quite down to the low standards of the Soviet-style MoZaic.

    Something along the lines of the Selby Area Community Library would have been much better. Mixed-use development with library, retail and housing.

    I also question the need for underground parking. I never see more than a few cars in the existing lot. Most patrons are going to walk there. If not, there is an abundance of street parking and surface lots all over Uptown.

  2. Submitted by sean mckenna on 12/01/2011 - 11:01 am.

    Replace the “old library” with a more modern facility? The building can’t even be forty years old and was built at the height of the era when “modern” meant very streamlined and very ugly. Whoever approved the design of the “new” Walker library (the actual old one still sits across the street) should have been tarred and feathered. An atrocious, ugly building suitable as little more than a bomb shelter.

  3. Submitted by David Greene on 12/01/2011 - 05:09 pm.

    Now what would be really great is if the county bought back the original Walker library building and constructed a tunnel from it to the new facility, connecting it to The Mall, the Greenway and other amenities.

    Lord knows the current building is not big enough and I don’t have any confidence the new one will be either. Various incarnations of spa and yoga studio doesn’t seem like a great use of that grand old building.

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