Monday, May 3, 2021

Books, stacked high, up to the Ceiling

 

"Heritage" is a word that should never be taken lightly. What was dreamed of and then built now must be torn down.  Happens all the time in America, where "eminent domain" trumps treasure. 










                                        The little suitcases say "Public Library". 

And, then this...


AND, then this.....

                                         Parking garage and office building

"The cost of the lot and building was $383,594.53, about $7.7 million today. The Public Library contained 60,000 volumes, with an estimated capacity of 300,000. So why this building demolished? Talks for a new library building had already begun 30 years earlier when the book collection had started to outgrow the building. Books were stacked beyond reach. Ventilation was poor, the air stuffy. The paint was peeling.....

"Talks for a new library building had already begun 30 years earlier when the book collection had started to outgrow the building. Books were stacked out of reach, the 19th century ventilation system was already failing and the paint was peeling."

Past vs. Present?  Restore a building with unknown huge amounts of money? Or, build a new one?



Do you wonder what books were stacked there? They were packed and then stored until the new library was finished. Can you imagine what aged tomes might be in those boxes? 



28 comments:

  1. It hurts to see beautiful buildings demolished. I know it had to be hard to get to some of those books but I wonder how many people really wanted the ones up high? If they could shelve things based on interests? Yes, pave paradise, put up a parking lot.

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  2. Sigh.
    Books are always a treasure (to my biased self). So much knowledge, and so many starting points for voyages of discovery. A love of reading was the very best thing my parents gave me.

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  3. Shame they didn't just fix up the old one.

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  4. Your last question is what was going through my mind looking at those pictures. Nothing lasts forever. When I heard Bobby Unser died today at 87, my first two thoughts were, "He shouldn't be dead", and "He shouldn't be that old..."

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    1. So many stars have gotten old, and I wonder how in the world that could happen!

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  5. You mentioned eminent domain. The St. Louis area has had several bad cases of ED where a city gave ED to a developer who then took possession of a business, tore it down, and built a new business. All because a city thought the new business could generate more tax dollars.

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    1. This ED is cruel. So many historical buildings and people's homes get maximum benefit without much investment at all.

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  6. I agree with the comment above, one of the best things my dad did for me was take me with him to one of the Public Libraries in Stockholm on a regular basis. This was a long time ago and all the books were bound in red leather. I've never forgotten those red books and how thrilling it felt to walk among them.

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  7. The difference between "old-fashioned" and "classic" can be a fine line. My childhood library was built in the '60s, and it looked it. Now we look at that library and think how wonderful. And how sad.

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    1. Upkeep on a building like that would have been phenomenal.

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  8. The "old" library here was torn down, it had asbestos and other problems. The new one is in the same location and is twice the size and very nice. We love our libraries here.

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    1. We have a small library associated with the HOA. I have missed it.

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  9. I love those pictures. I can smell the slight mustiness of old books. Gotta admit, though, I clicked because I misread the title as "BOOTS, Stacked High, Up to the Ceiling."

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    1. First library I ever ever visited was old, marble floors and tall shelves. The musty smell brings back that memory.

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  10. Such a shame it couldn't be repaired and restored. I suppose having books stacked on such high levels these days would be a safety issue. Has a new library building been begun anywhere? It would be a shame to lose all those old books and the history contained in them.

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    1. It would have been a tremendous fire risk if it remained. Some books must have been crumbling.

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  11. If you go into a modern library today, there's a few books and a lot more computers, plus lots of CDs and DVDs to borrow. Libraries have become very audio-visual now.

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  12. All of those beautiful books! Looks like Nirvana.

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    1. I cannot imagine the people then as they walked in the building.

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  13. I just do not FIT IN! We went to a Public Library just a month or so ago, my first in 30 years at least. I was shocked at what seemed to be more 'videos' than books. Even it seemed miles of 8 tracks, WHAT?
    I know every thing cannot be saved, and I know ed is necessary at times for the good of the public, BUT the problem is POLITICS.
    That said, I just about cry when I see 'art' as in hand-driven architectural dreams wiped out. OF COURSE I never in my life saw a building (library) like that of Cincinnati you have shown. Being a country boy type our libraries were sorta like the one room school houses. LOL
    THERE IS NOT GOOD ANSWER FOR PROGRESS. So we cry and move on.
    Sherry and jack.... Now we let Google do our research, we no longer must go to a library and DIG IT OUT!

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  14. 'Heritage' is a word that is very special to me. I am very interested in know where my ancestors came from and who they were. I enjoyed your post today, and happy month of May to you, Susan.

    ~Sheri

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!