- 2518 Underwood St. [HAR]
Andrew Carnegie tried — and now, following his lead, a team with ties to Rice University wants to change the world with libraries, too. If it can raise $50,000 via a Kickstarter campaign, the team, whose 5 members are linked to Rice School of Architecture and Rice Design Alliance, will be able to take its talents to Ghana and build a prototype of this open-source, open-air digital agora it’s calling Librii.
And what, exactly, would it be?
Inspired by a Kyrie O’Connor column last month decrying the absence of any Little Free Libraries in Houston, Heights resident Mag Franzoni and her husband went ahead and created one themselves. At the grand opening of the tiny custom-built bright-red exchange box perched on a couple of 4x4s in front of the home at 736 Tulane St. earlier this month, Franzoni had it stocked with a carefully pruned collection that included a biography of Ho Chi Minh, John McCain’s Character Is Destiny, Portia de Rossi’s anorexia tell-all, and Max Brooks’s World War Z, on the coming Zombie War. “I loved the idea where people could go and grab a book (and hopefully — if they can – bring a different one in return) and basically making this library into a gift that keeps on giving,” the newly minted front-yard librarian wrote the Heights Kids Group. “I hope some of you will stop by and pick up/bring a book. And if not, maybe you can share it with everyone you know so eventually everyone in Houston knows where to go when they want/need a book to read.”
Photos: Mag Franzoni
LOOSCAN LIBRARY LEAKAGE Why is the Looscan Neighborhood Library at 2510 Willowick near Highland Village closing for 4 months of renovations — only 4 years after it was built? Problems with water infiltration. “When it rains pretty good, water gets into those walls and into that doorway,” a library spokesperson tells Charlotte Aguilar. Both entrances will get new exterior canopies, and the lobby will get a new walk-off mat system to catch tracked-in water and prevent slipping. Plus: new moisture-resistant wall finishes and stone baseboards. Work begins a week from Saturday. [River Oaks Examiner] Photo: River Oaks Examiner
Reopened yesterday after almost 2 years of construction and renovation: The Oak Forest Library at 1349 W. 43rd St., sporting 2 new brick-and-glass wings on the buildings west side, around a new outdoor reading room. The original building’s signature green tile mosaic wall still faces the Oak Forest Shopping Center’s continuous W. 43rd St. parking lot, but a new second entrance for the neighborhood now peeks out from behind a much greener space on Oak Forest Dr. — across the street from Oak Forest Elementary:
The long-discussed renovation of the Fifth Ward’s long-vacant DeLuxe Theatre on Lyons Ave. is a little closer to actually happening since yesterday’s city council approval of a contract with Smith & Company Architects for its part of the $6.8 million project.
Drawings have not been released, but the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation’s website for the theater says that the building’s south facade will be restored to its original appearance. The movie theater was built in 1941, but reopened in 1971 as an art gallery. The 15,000-sq.-ft. shell has been empty for more than 30 years. And now the innards will be reimagined:
COMMENT OF THE DAY: MODERN LIBRARY EDITION “The mid-century Oak Forest Library IS NOT being demolished. Houston Public Library is working very diligently to save, restore, renovate and add-on to the existing building. The rendering that you show is of the addition to the west side of the original building facing the newish elementary school across the street. When the work is complete, the “new” Oak Forest will have dedicated areas for Children, Teens, and Adults, a new Meeting Room, Conference Room, and expanded services. It will be fully ADA compliant and should also acquire L.E.E.D certification.” [John, commenting on The New Oak Forest Neighborhood Library]
Thanks to the reader who sent Swamplot this image, showing what the new west wing of the Oak Forest Neighborhood Library is supposed to look like when construction is complete. The addition provides an updated reading of the library’s current Mod entrance, which sits quietly at the back of the shopping center on 43rd St., a block west of Ella:
The new Belle Sherman Kendall Library in West Houston will have a little something extra inside: a half-court basketball gym. The ceremonial groundbreaking took place Monday on the site near Buffalo Bayou:
Besides housing a library and a community center, the building will be the first three-story building in the Houston system, and the first to have a drive-up window.
The site at 609 N. Eldridge will also serve as a city park and a trailhead to Terry Hershey Park. . . . At Kendall’s drive-up window, users will be able to return books, pick-up books they’ve reserved, and pay fines.