New York Times features McAllen Library
BIG-BOX STORE HAS NEW LIFE AS AN AIRY PUBLIC LIBRARY
“The hulking husk of a vacant Walmart here in the Rio Grande Valley is enjoying an unlikely second act. When the big-box retailer moved to a larger location down the street, the building might have been destined to house yet another large chain or to fall into disrepair. But rather than let it become an eyesore, the city scooped it up and spent $24 million transforming the drab structure into a 123,000-square-foot public library that serves as a vibrant space for residents here.
The library, which the McAllen Public Library system says ‘may very well be the largest single-floor public library in the nation,’ has a modern, cheery feel. Twenty-foot ceilings, combined with new skylights and windows, create a bright, airy interior. Large three-dimensional signs that mark the sections hang from the ceilings, creating cozy nooks below.
The building includes a computer lab, a cafe, meeting rooms with videoconferencing capabilities and a 180-seat auditorium. It is a major upgrade from the city’s old 40,000-square-foot main library, which had cramped shelves and limited seating. . . . ”
You can read the entire story by Sonia Smith on The New York Times online.
In addition to The New York Times story, the project is also being recognized by the design community and for its sustainable design attributes, through some well-known blogs such as Apartment Therapy and On Earth.