|Fanning Howey Plan when completed|
First you may wonder how the Baldwin Library compares to other area libraries. It is the smallest in size with the least number of study rooms. The Bloomfield Township Library is the closest library in distance and population size served. The BTPL is two times the size and has ten times the number of study rooms. Does that matter ? It depends on how you define the library of the 21st century. This author defines it as a library that fits in your pocket or purse and can be accessed wherever the communication towns are. The author's wife prefers the community center aspects of a library.
Fanning Howey PlanThis plan by the noted Birmingham architectural firm, would go interior and exterior, whole hog. All three levels of the current structure would be enhanced. The Basement would gain a Friends of the Library Gift Shop, and outdoor/ indoor cafe and patio. The latter could be used like the Leelanau County Library in Northport Michigan. The ground level have two entrances. One on Martin Street and one on Merill. The second floor would be the most expanded. In addition to more library space it would provide the possibility of roof gardens and a terrace overlooking Shain Park for special library and civic functions. The cost of this plan is expected to be "upwards of ten million dollars" and require extensive renovation. It would be funded by a bond issue which would spread the cost over a number of years. It would also increase the interior square footage by a factor of 1.5x. On the outside it would bring the the Martin Street side of the library closer to Bates. It would also make the Merrill Street exterior straight instead of curved while providing an arched portico.
The first plan the Baldwin Board is considering is the Fanning Howey Plan. It is for the most part an interior only plan that will make the the library more open, inviting, and easy to navigate If adapted it will provide less shelf space than the current layout. Color pictures in the presentation show crowded conditions in the Birkerts addition and a complete absence of space in the Youth room. The Fanney Howey Plan will solve that and more at a reasonable cost with with an minimum disruption or services. It is estimated that the the total cost for this plan would cost $2,875,000. This plan would also maintain the the striking exterior architecture of the Birkerts addition .
|Detail of portion of Fanning Howey Plan. Note expanded floor space for computers group work space/study rooms.|
Victor Saroki Plan
|Saroki Proposed Second Floor|