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Expansion of Downtown Columbus Library Proposed

Walker Evans Walker Evans Expansion of Downtown Columbus Library Proposed
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The Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) announced today that they have negotiated a contract for the purchase of the old Deaf School property located south of the Main Downtown library, and adjacent to the Topiary Park. The 114-year-old four-story building is currently vacant and includes a 2.24 acre property. The CML Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on the contract at their upcoming Jan 30th board meeting.

If obtained, the Downtown Library could connect the two buildings together to create new spaces, as well as connect the buildings to the Topiary Park with an outdoor terrace area.

“This acquisition gives us numerous options for the Main Library, which is now land-locked,” said Patrick Losinski, CEO of CML. “Our interest in the procurement is inspired by Bryant Park in New York, which is connected to the New York Public Library and provides an outdoor reading room and green space for library customers.”

Options for best using the new building and land are still being determined, but Losinski expects the decision making process to begin immediately.

More information can be found online at www.columbuslibrary.org.

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  • heresthecasey

    Now this is excellent news! Give these people a Bells!

    I wonder why the apartment plans for the Deaf School building from a few years ago never got off the ground.

  • For an Olde Towne East resident, this expansion is exciting news to say the least! My family is an avid user of our wonderful library system and the Main Branch in particular! I am anxious to hear the progress and see plans once they are finalized!

  • Molly

    This is exciting! Columbus Main Library, how about a beautiful public reading room like the 42nd street NYPL or the reading room in OSU’s Thompson library? Looking forward to the possibilities…

  • CMHflyer

    This is magnificent. I think the use of the former Deaf School building by the CML Main Branch is a far better use than the apartments previously slated for the building. I think this will bring more attention to the Topiary Park as well. Very exciting times for Columbus’ cultural institutions!

  • hdtvohio

    Darn, I had always hoped to buy the school to make into a mansion after I win the lottery. I guess Stewart Elementary still remains for that goal.

    In all seriousness, although I was pretty serious about the above, I think this is great, as long as they keep the historic charm of the old deaf school building.

  • Bryant Park was an awesome place to grab lunch and sit. You could play ping pong, play chess/checkers, take yoga classes etc. The winter skate rink was a blast. I’m hardly ever negative about and development plans but I don’t see it having the same user experience as Bryant Park. But I’d still love to see it happen

  • readysetdisco

    agreed. i’m not sure the area has enough pedestrian traffic to support something even remotely similar to Bryant Park, but they do use the word “inspiration”, not “imitation”.

    sounds like a wonderful idea. glad there are some institutions in this city that remain dedicated to making Columbus not just bigger, but better.

  • @readysetdisco – That area may not have enough pedestrian traffic now, but consider what could be constructed on many of the surface lots surrounding the Topiary Park and you have a pretty good recipe for something more closely resembling Bryant Park.

    While there’s no concrete development plans announced, some of this was laid out as a priority in the 2010 Downtown Development Plan, and the Library even shows some of this future development in one of their other renderings of the project:


  • Everyone voted yes. From a press release:
    “Columbus City Council voted unanimously to remove the residential zoning restriction on the old Ohio State School for the Deaf property, 400 E. Town St., to allow for possible redevelopment by the Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML).

    Today, (Jan 30 2013) CML’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to purchase the 2.24-acre Deaf School property for $2,160,000, located between Topiary Park and Main Library, 96 S. Grant Ave.”

  • MHJ

    Looks like the library decided to go in a different direction with the old School for the Deaf.

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