Abandoned Walmart Transformed Into Beautiful Public Library
And the winner is…. the McAllen Public Library!
Out of ugliness comes great beauty.
The International Interior Design Association recently selected the McAllen Public Library in McAllen, Texas, as the winner of their 2012 Library Interior Design Competition. What’s so special about that?
The city of McAllen got stuck with a former Walmart store after the retailer closed the store and abandoned it. (Nice going, Walmart.) But instead of tearing it down, the city made the smart decision to reuse the structure and create a new main library, which is the size of 2.5 football fields, making it the largest single-story library in the United States.
Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. of Minneapolis were selected to handle the interior design which the city required to be functional, flexible and affordable to construct. The company began by stripping out much of the old ceiling and walls left in the space. All the perimeter walls and ceiling were given a fresh coat of white paint. The resulting cavernous space allowed plenty of room for an auditorium, computers lab, classrooms and meeting rooms, and adult and teen reading lounges — not to mention hundreds of thousands of books.
As grist explains:
The best part: Library registration jumped 23 percent after the new building opened. Sure, some of those people probably wandered in looking for a gun and 200 diapers, and just took a while to figure out what was going on. But a lot of them just wanted to make use of a beautiful new public space.
You can check out photos of this gorgeous building by clicking here. What a great example of creative reuse of space!
What do you think? Was this a good idea?
Photo Credit: robertstinnett