We want to alert you to a plan that may permanently change the Johnson Building’s character and purpose, to be discussed at a public meeting on April 10th at 6 p.m.
The Johnson building is the “new” part of the Copley library designed by Philip Johnson and opened in 1972. Most acknowledge that after 40+ years, the building needs a makeover, and the Boston Public Library (BPL) Trustees are planning a major renovation of the building. The Trustees have engaged William L. Rawn Associates (architects for the Mattapan Branch, the new East Boston Branch, and the Cambridge Public Library) to put together several renovation proposals. Although these are just proposals, they suggest a substantial reconfiguration of the Johnson Building space and propose to lease public space for private use. In some cases, the amount of space set aside for private use is substantial.
There are many new and exciting changes that are being proposed, and most will enhance the library’s mission statement “Built by the people and dedicated to the advancement of learning.” However, many of us on the CWF Board have misgivings about how these proposals achieve one of the project’s stated goals, to “generate cost-sharing options and additional revenue.”
The library asks, “What sorts of enterprise or entrepreneurial opportunities might the library pursue? What sorts of entrepreneurial activities might fit in well in the Johnson Building?” This means leasing public library space in the Johnson building, mainly along the Boylston and Exeter St. frontages, for private retail/commercial use.
The details of these plans will be presented at a public meeting at 6:00 p.m. on April 10, 2013, in Rabb Lecture Hall. The purpose of this plan, a diagram and diorama of the Johnson Building, and an area for public comment are also on display today in the Johnson Building atrium. If you have the time, please visit this display and leave your opinion for the library administration.
The CWF Board invites you to attend on April 10, visit the Johnson Building, and/or comment on the libraries blog. However you participate, please share your views with the architect, the BPL Trustees, and the BPL staff. You can even share your opinion with BPL President Amy Ryan directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, BPL Trustee Chair Jeff Rudman email@example.com, and us at CWFBPL@HOTMAIL.COM.
For more information, visit:
(Be sure to access “April 10 program” within the link).
Thank you for your interest and we look forward to seeing you on April 10.
For the CWF Board,
David J. Vieira, President