Documentary about the making of the Traverwood Branch now online

Up From AshesUp From Ashes


More about the new air handlers

Air handler at bottom of the pit: These workers are at the bottom of the pit as a crane lowers a new air handler to basement level. The photographer is inside the basement. Photo by Ken Raynor.Air handler at bottom of the pit: These workers are at the bottom of the pit as a crane lowers a new air handler to basement level. The photographer is inside the basement. Photo by Ken Raynor.

Delivery of the library's new air handlers raised passing interest and even mild titillation among the characteristically blase citizens of this teeming sub-metropolis. For the first time in half a century, patrons on the west side of the downtown branch quaffed un-handled air. Ken Raynor snapped a series of photographs to record the event for posterity.

Library Board Votes To Suspend Downtown Library Project

This morning the Board of the Ann Arbor District Library voted unanimously to suspend work on the project to renovate, or tear down and rebuild, the Downtown Library at 5th and Division.

The Library's 2004-2010 Strategic Plan called for this project, but with more bad economic news expected for Michigan, Board members agreed that continuing this project now would be inappropriate. The AADL will instead focus its attention on maintaining the Downtown Library.

We will embark on the maintenance, repairs, and renovations necessary to continue to provide outstanding library service to our community at our Downtown location, as well as from our four branch locations.

AADL and DDA Survey on Downtown Library and Parking Structure

One year ago, the Library conducted focus groups with over 100 persons in our district to discuss the future of the Downtown Library. We learned a great deal about what people love about the Downtown library and what they feel can be improved. This year, the Library has hired Luckenbach|Ziegleman Architects and Skanska to work with us to develop two programs: one for a renovated and expanded Library and the other for a new Downtown Library, both to be located at Fifth and William. At the same time, the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority is moving forward with a site plan to build a large underground parking structure on the "library lot". The convergence of these two activities led us to develop a joint survey asking for feedback on both the library and parking.

Please take this opportunity to contribute to the important decisions that will need to be made by the AADL, the City of Ann Arbor, and the DDA.

You do not need to be a library user, or resident of Ann Arbor to fill out the survey. All feedback is appreciated.

In addition, you are invited to attend any of the following Public Meetings to review our work and add your thoughts to the discussion.

Monday, June 2nd 7:00 – 9pm
Wednesday, June 4th 10:00 – noon
Sunday, June 8th 3:00 – 5 pm

Location: Downtown Library - 343 South Fifth Avenue, Ann Arbor

Josie

Architect Selected for Downtown Library Project

The AADL is pleased to announce that the Library Board at a Special Meeting on Tuesday, February 5, selected Luckenbach|Ziegelman Architects, PLLC for the Downtown Library project. This firm was chosen from a field of 15 firms who responded to a Request for Qualifications, 9 of which made public presentations to the Library Board last week.

Carl Luckenbach, FAIA and Robert Ziegelman, FAIA have provided full service architectural, planning, and interior design for 27 years. They have studios in Ann Arbor and Bloomfield Hills. The firm designed Malletts Creek Branch, winner of the Michigan AIA Award for Sustainability in 2005, and the Pittsfield Branch.

Luckenbach|Ziegelman will be joined by the following consultants on the Downtown project:
Douglas Kelbaugh, FAIA Ann Arbor Urban Design
Insite Design Studio, Inc. Ann Arbor Landscape Architecture
Enliven Consulting Ann Arbor Public Engagement
M.E. Engineering Consultants, Inc. Plymouth Mechanical and Electrical
Midwestern Consulting, LLC Ann Arbor Civil Engineering
Acentech, Inc. Cambridge MA Acoustics and A/V

A press release with more complete information is attached.

Josie

Final Schedule for Architect Presentations on the Downtown Project

Nine architectural firms will be making presentations on the Downtown Library project next week. All of the presentations are open to the public and the schedule is attached on this post.

The presentations will be made in the 4th Floor Board Room in the Downtown Library. Board agendas are posted at http://aadl.org/aboutus.

The opportunity to address the Library's need to create an accessible and flexible space Downtown that will adjust to new uses over the next several decades is very exciting. The opportunty to do this in collaboration with the DDA and the City of AA, in terms of the development of the "library lot", is a very positive step toward a progressive urban design plan for the Fifth Avenue/William street area. We appreciate the interest and support we are receiving from the DDA and the Ann Arbor City Council.

Josie

Architectural Firms Selected for Presentations on the Downtown Library Project

Last evening, the AADL Board reviewed responses to the Request for Qualifications for Architectural and Engineering services for the Downtown Library Renovation and Building project. The Board will be inviting 15 architectural firms to make presentations early in 2008. The public is invited to attend the presentations. Dates and times will be announced later this month. The 15 firms invited to present are:

C2AE: Grand Rapids, MI
designLAB architects with Quinn Evans Architects: Boston Ann Arbor
Engberg Anderson, Inc with Mitchell and Mouat Architects: Milwaukee Ann Arbor
Frye Gillan Molinaro Architects: Chicago
Gwathmey Siegal and Associates with David Milling Architects: New York Ann Arbor
HKS Architects, P.C.: Farmington Hills, MI
Holzman Moss Architecture, LLP: New York
inForm Studio: Detroit
Luckenbach|Ziegelman Architects, PLLC: Ann Arbor
Merrit McPherson Cieslak, PC: Farmington, MI
Meyer Scherer and Rockcastle, LTD: Minneapolis, MN
Neuman/Smith Architecture with Hiddell and Associates: Southfield Carrolton, TX
Penchansky Whisler Architecture with A3C Collaborative: Ann Arbor
PSA-Dewberry, Inc.: Naperville, IL
TMP Associates, Inc.: Bloomfield Hills

Earlier this year, the Library received a report on the programing needs for operations and services Downtown for the next 20 years, and also a report on the condition of the Downtown facility. The Board's decision to go forward with a plan to renovate the Downtown library derived from these study results. Over 100 people participated in 12 focus groups, and while their needs and interests varied widely, they overwhelmingly agreed that the Downtown Library should remain at 5th Avenue and William Street. In early November, the City Council passed a resolution authorizing the DDA to conduct a feasibility study that will determine how much underground parking is possible on the lot that is now surface parking next door to the Library. We are pleased that the DDA, the City of AA, and the Library are working toward a common vision for redeveloping the Fifth and William area around the Library, and proud that AADL is taking the lead and moving forward in its selection of an architectural firm.

UPDATE: The Library Board invited all of the responding firms to make presentations, and 14 firms accepted. These presentations are open to the public and all of them will occur at the Downtown Library in the 4th Floor Board room the week of January 28-January 31. The schedule is attached for your convenience.

Josie

AADL Receives Space Needs and Facility Study for Downtown Library

The Library Board received a space needs and facility study from Providence Associates at its July 23, 2007 Board meeting. The study was commissioned in February of this year in an effort to answer questions related to space needs for library services and programming, and to assess the physical and mechanical integrity of the current facility. The study meets a Facilities objective in the library’s current Strategic Plan that was adopted in 2004 and runs through 2010.

I would like to express my gratitude to the 150 or so persons who gave their time to this study by agreeing to participate in one of 12 focus groups conducted in March, and to those who accepted the public invitation to attend a focus group session in April. This honest appraisal of what works and what doesn’t and what needs to exist that is currently not offered by the Library, combined with real data about the facility, is captured in the study document.

This space needs and facility study form the beginning of a process that the Board will use to determine what steps to take in assuring library service in Downtown Ann Arbor. Options for what can be done at our current location are provided in the study, but these are concepts and are not intended to be viewed as plans. The Library Board will take the study information, expand on it, and continue to work to determine the best next step for the community at large.

Please review the attached documents, and then come back and post your own thoughts and questions about the study findings.

Providence Proposal 2007
Providence Report July 23, 2007

Josie

Downtown Library Space Needs and Facility Study is Underway

The Ann Arbor District Library Board has awarded a contract to Providence Associates, LLC for a space needs and facility study of the Downtown Library located at 343 S. Fifth Avenue. The work began March 1 and has included 11 focus group sessions with the public and staff.

A final focus group session is scheduled for Sunday, April 22, from 2:00-3:30 PM in the Multi-Purpose Room in the Downtown Library. The public is invited and encouraged to attend this event. The opportunity to tell us what works for you and what could be better at our Downtown location is the culminating event of National Library Week. Come celebrate the existence and future of public libraries with us on Sunday, April 22, at 2:00 PM.

This facility study will be completed by June 1, 2007, and is the beginning of what is likely to be a year long process to determine the future size, scope of services, and location of the Downtown Library.

AADL on NPR

Horses@NEB-blogHorses@NEB-blog

Hear a podcast and see photos of the March 7 clearing of the ash trees from the construction site of the new branch library at Traverwood Drive and Huron Parkway on The Environment Report of the Great Lakes Radio Consortium on National Public Radio.

On Wed., March 7, Rex and Andy, two beautiful, black draft horses, pulled dead ash logs from the construction site of the new branch. The event was covered by Lester Graham, producer of The Environment Report. The purpose of the horses' work was threefold: they had much less of an impact on the forest floor than machinery; the wood Rex and Andy hauled will be used as building material and support beams in the new branch library; and the visible support beams will serve as a valuable environmental lesson of the devastation of the emerald ash borer. Nice work, boys!

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