Monday, August 6, 2012

The South Euclid-Lyndhurst Library

The Cuyahoga County Public Library is planning to move the South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of the library from its current location in the former Telling Mansion to a new location across from Notre Dame College on Green Road. This is in coordination with the CCPL's master plan to make all their buildings compliant with the American's with Disabilities Act, and to address issues with parking and energy efficiency.

As someone who lives in South Euclid, who used the library when in school and continues to do so today, I’d like to make a few points.

As a historic building, the Telling Mansion is exempt from the Americans with Disabilities Act. An elevator, which some have suggested, would further mar the historical integrity of the building. Both of the most frequently used levels are accessible by wheelchair - although one would need to leave the building, get in the car, drive down a level, and reenter the building to do so.

The Green Road location is troublesome for several reasons: It would involve taking down three existing homes and cutting down a wooded area. It also replaces a centrally located facility (the existing library is about a 5 minute walk from the South Euclid / Lyndhurst border) and moves it near the border of University Heights. That’s not fair to the people of Lyndhurst, and University Heights has its own library (not in the CCPL network). IF the decision is made to leave the Telling site, why not build a new library at the old Anderson school site? The land is for sale, the location is central - and it’s close to the Richmond Heights mini-library, which could be closed at considerable savings. It’s also closer to Brush and Memorial than the proposed Green Road site.

I understand where CCPL’s directors are coming from, their vision is a network of libraries that are universally ADA compliant, with meeting rooms and state of the art energy efficiency. But why can’t there be an exception to the rule? Why can’t there be ONE historic, unique building in the network, tied to our history, even if it breaks some of the rules? Why the insistence on uniformity and conformity? To discuss the issue further, I have created a Facebook group. Feel free to join.

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