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Thoughts on the library

Posted: April 16, 2010 6:16 p.m.
Updated: April 18, 2010 4:55 a.m.
The recent turmoil about the look of the proposed downtown Newhall library seems to rest on the question: What is a Western-looking building?

I have been wondering ever since I saw the first article ("Library design called into question," March 25). I can think of a couple of different styles.

The first to come to mind are those thick adobe buildings that are common in New Mexico, or maybe they mean the type of building that you see in a Western movie. That must be it. It would be perfect.

You could copy the designs from the buildings that are located in one of the movie locations in the valley. You would need a wooden sidewalk in front of the building and maybe swinging doors for the entrance. To make it perfect you need a hitching post in front that would allow the residents of Placerita Canyon to ride to the library and tie up their horses in front of the building.

More importantly, why didn't anyone think of these design elements when the building was being designed? Was an architect actually used or did the city buy a set of plans from some service?

I have noticed that many modern buildings seem to be designed as isolated elements and do not blend into their surroundings.

One Los Angeles site that comes to mind is the Disney Concert Hall that not only does not look anything like anything around it.

The people who decide on what is built seem to think that whatever the architect selects must be perfect, so let's just build it. Maybe we should be more aware of what is around a building, and if it is a particular location, let it blend in with its surroundings.

The library is next to the first jail and first movie theater in the valley. It could have a style that contains some elements that would blend with the site and not just dominate the location.

Can we still change anything? The ground has been broken and now we hear all these complaints.

I do notice that the interior of the design seems to replicate other libraries that I have seen, so this building is not very new in concept.


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