Construction of a new Walker Library plus redevelopment of the adjacent Mall offers an opportunity for creative renewal of the prime Uptown location at Lagoon Avenue and Hennepin Avenues. Hennepin County library and Minneapolis Parks staff are collaborating with the community to assure that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Engaging the community in a process to study design options for a section of parkland just north of Walker Library is a priority in this project development. Commissioner Anita Tabb welcomed people to the first community meeting on July 12. It was held at the Library with an open house format followed by a presentation by representatives of the Minneapolis Parks Board and Close Landscape Architecture. The next meetings are expected to be August 25 and September 13.
Community participation in this project is high as it is for most Uptown projects. Several people spoke up at the meeting strongly urging that this unique redevelopment opportunity is not shortchanged but maximizes its potential. A connection directly to the Greenway is a priority for many.
The goal is a seamless connection of the Library and eastern end of the narrow rectangular park known as The Mall with their Uptown surroundings including the Greenway, Hennepin Avenue and Uptown Transit hub.
Following a series of public meetings in the summer of 2009, the Walker Library Community Advisory Committee was formed to develop a vision for the new Walker Library. The committee, made up of local residents and representatives from community organizations and businesses, met over the next six months to participate in discussions and surveys to create the vision for the new Walker Library.
For further information contact Jennifer Ringold at the Minneapolis Parks Board, (firstname.lastname@example.org – 612.230.6464) or Lois Enroot-Ernt at the Hennepin County Library (email@example.com – 952.847.8555).