• Paula Krapf

Steelwork complete on new library

Construction crews have finished steelwork on the new Geneva Public Library at 227 S. Seventh St., and they will begin exterior work this month. Now that the framework of the new library is in place, design details really stand out.

The building’s design unites many elements of the community, and was developed with feedback from both the public and the Historic Preservation Commission. The HPC encouraged architects to examine the history of the area as an industrial corridor and tie some of those elements into the design.

* The colors and texture of the material choice reflect the Fox Valley limestone and other building materials prevalent in the area.

Rendering of the new library as seen from Seventh Street.

* The curvilinear ribbon that flows along the second floor was inspired by the cottonwood tree on-site and treehouses seen in residential neighborhoods.

A steel ribbon seen from Campbell Street.

Rendering of the new library from Campbell and Sixth Streets, showing the ribbon (the darker section along Campbell Street).

* The old lumber mill and the Pope Box Company inspired the vertical expressions seen in the design, and the metal banding is a reflection of the former Geneva Kitchens manufacturing facility.

View of the new library from Campbell and Seventh Streets; the round portion is the upper level quiet reading room.

Rendering of the quiet reading room on the second level.

* The arch at the roof level that echoes the hull of the Viking ship now resting in Good Templar Park is meant to pay homage to the Swedish heritage of the area.

Steelwork showing the upper level balcony that faces Franklin Street.

New library rendering showing the upper level balcony (left), as well as the main entrance, which is off Seventh Street.

What will the new library feature?

The 57,000-square-foot building will have 76 off-street parking spaces, drive-up convenience, a variety of meeting areas, a community art gallery, and outdoor reading spaces.

* The Library will feature an enhanced children’s area with developmentally appropriate collections, play areas, and learning opportunities for children from birth through eighth grade.

* Teens and adults will have access to a variety of library materials and enjoy spending time in the quiet reading and study spaces.

* Additionally, Library service will be expanded to include new opportunities for collaborating, using technology, and experimenting in lab spaces.

Steelwork for the meeting room area in the new library (forefront). The beam in the top center was signed by the Library Board and Director before being installed.

Rendering of the exterior of the new library meeting room area seen from Sixth Street.

Rendering of the interior of the meeting room in the new library.

What will happen to the current library building?

The building at 127 James St. will be sold and the eventual buyer will determine how the building will be used. The Library Board of Trustees has reviewed a potential timeframe for selling the building but has not made a decision. They are loosely targeting May-June 2019 as the timeframe for soliciting bids.

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