The future of the Southeast Minneapolis Library, part 5: What does the community need today?

This is the fifth article in a six-part series about the future of the Southeast Library in Minneapolis. Previously, part 4: A historic building.Before selecting a location for a new library, Hennepin County commissioner Peter McLaughlin said, “The first-level issue is what kind of library should we actually create. There’s an argument that would suggest that this is not your garden-variety neighborhood library. Of our 41 libraries, should this one be something different because of its proximity to the University of Minnesota?” “We need to explore that question, think about programs and think about what kind of building you need and then you get to the location,” McLaughlin said. “We will get a lot of community input on what it would look like.” Koob said the library has a “community-engagement process” to plan for each library. “We haven’t planned it yet so we don’t know what this will look like,” Kelli Koob, coordinating librarian in the Hennepin County Library’s Capital Projects Office, said. Continue Reading

The future of the Southeast Minneapolis Library, part 4: A historic building

This is the fourth article in a six-part series on the future of the Southeast Library in Minneapolis. Previously, part 3: Marcy-Holmes loves its library.Some neighborhood residents have said they’d like to preserve the Southeast Library building for historic reasons as an example of the late Ralph Rapson’s modern architecture.The Southeast Library building, designed by the late Minneapolis architect Ralph Rapson, opened in 1963 as the University branch of the State Capitol Credit Union, now Affinity Plus. Four years later, the building, an example of modern architecture, became the Southeast Library around Christmas 1967.Between 1904 and 1967, the Southeast Library was in the white marble Pillsbury building at 100 University Ave. S.E. on the corner of University and Central (above). The building houses the Phillips philanthropic foundation. Continue Reading

The future of the Southeast Minneapolis Library, part 3: Marcy-Holmes loves its library

This is the third article in a six-part series on the future of the Southeast Library in Minneapolis. Previously, part 2: Design library dreams for Prospect Park.The Marcy-Holmes board passed a resolution October 16 calling for keeping the Dinkytown library in their neighborhood because “it has always been an important part of our community and because it is accessible to all the Southeast neighborhoods via public transportation and serves our neighborhood’s 10,000 residents, including students at the University of Minnesota.”The board appointed a Southeast Library Task Force consisting of residents Bean, Kathleen Reilly, Ardes Johnson, Harriet Johnson, and Mary Kay O’Hearn.Jo Radzwill, co-chairwoman of the Marcy-Holmes land use committee, said small neighborhood focus groups consistently show strong use of the library and a demand for more hours.“One student likes the Chinese-lesson videos there,” Radzwill said. “Who knew? One of the sorority house directors said her residents frequently go there to do homework because of the wi-fi access. It is a more central location than the campus library on the West Bank and it’s so close to campus.”“It’s also easy to get to. Continue Reading

The future of the Southeast Minneapolis Library, part 2: Design library dreams for Prospect Park

This is the second article in a six-part series on the future of the Southeast Library in Minneapolis. Previously, part 1: A part-time library isn’t enough.Some Dinkytown and Marcy-Holmes neighborhood residents fear that Prospect Park will compete for the location of a new Southeast Library, choosing a site that would be less convenient to residents of both Marcy-Holmes and Como neighborhoods.Dick Gilyard, an architect who lives in Prospect Park, presented a slide program last spring that proposed a library at the 29th Avenue light rail station as part of his neighborhood’s plan for the transit corridor along Washington and University avenues. Too late. “That train has already left the station,” McLaughlin said. “The station is under construction, and there is no room for a library.”Gilyard continues to advocate for a new library in the Prospect Park area, but he insists that his plan is separate from the future of the Southeast Library at Dinkytown.“That will be decided by others—the county through its community-engagement process,” he said. “We’re now talking about a different kind of library with a theme-based focus independent of what Hennepin County decides to do with the Southeast Library.”Gilyard said the Textile Center at 3000 University Ave. Continue Reading

The future of the Southeast Minneapolis Library, part 1: A part-time library isn’t enough

This is the first article in a six-part series on the future of the Southeast Library in Minneapolis.Will Southeast Minneapolis ever get a new community library?While some community residents complain that replacing the library at Dinkytown has been repeatedly delayed, county officials say planning for a new building could begin late this year.The library at 1222 Fourth St. S.E. serves University of Minnesota students and residents of four adjacent neighborhoods: Marcy-Holmes, Como, University and Prospect Park/East River Road.The current building is widely perceived to be inadequate, even for a library open only three days a week. (Hours are noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.) The building is not accessible for people with disabilities and it lacks parking and necessary interior space.The county’s 2012 Capital Improvement Program stated that the building has 13,000 gross squire feet, of which only 4,700 are usable as library space for staff and customers. The CIP also stated that planning for a new building should have begun in 2011. “Since Hennepin County took it over, Southeast keeps moving to the bottom of the list for a new library,” said Melissa Bean, executive director of the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association. Kelli Koob, coordinating librarian in the Hennepin County Library’s Capital Projects Office, will be the project manager for a new Southeast Library.“The Southeast Library has changed its timeline a number of times,” Koob said. “All of our projects have done. Continue Reading

REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK | What does Dinkytown need: Parking? Housing? Retail? Trees?

It’s a time of transition in Dinkytown, with the building containing the Book House and House of Hanson possibly up for sale and at least one developer seeming to favor the rezoning of the neighborhood to allow the construction of more housing. (See the E-Democracy discussion for more on this.)Bill Huntzicker is researching this issue and will soon publish a detailed report; in the meantime, we asked our Facebook readers what they’d like to see happen in Dinkytown. The first responses were unanimous: Dinkytown needs more parking.”More pedestrian-friendly parks and parking spaces, please.” (Chanida Phaengdara Potter)”Parking and a grocery store.” (Cristeta Boarini)”PARKING.” Continue Reading

Police attribute slow riot response to lack of funds

University of Minnesota police said Tuesday that a lack of funding restricted Minneapolis’ police ability to quickly respond to Saturday’s Dinkytown riot, which also resulted in police issuing fewer minor consumption tickets. University police issued only three underage consumption tickets over the course of Spring Jam weekend — four less than last year, according to University police. University and Minneapolis police arrested 12 people near campus throughout the weekend, though no charges have been filed. All of the arrestees were male. Due to Minneapolis’ police lack of funding, its ability to respond quickly was restricted. Continue Reading

Students riot in Dinkytown

Over several hours Saturday evening and into Sunday morning, more than 500 students took to the 1300 and 1400 blocks of Seventh Street Southeast near the University of Minnesota in a contained party-turned-riot that culminated in heavy police presence and 12 arrests. Student reactions to Dinkytown Riot … With camera in hand, Robbins headed to the scene. The computer science junior was there for about 30 seconds, he said, when without warning police shot him in the groin with a paint canister and tackled him to the ground. … Continue Reading

Students react to Dinkytown Riot

Peter Robbins lives a block away from the epicenter of Saturday night’s party-turned-riot. And when he heard police showed up, he said the photojournalist in him kicked in — he needed to document it. Students riot in Dinkytown

With camera in hand, Robbins headed to the scene. The computer science junior was there for about 30 seconds, he said, when without warning police shot him in the groin with a paint canister and tackled him to the ground. That was at 11:30 p.m., about a half hour after riot police first came. Continue Reading

Landlords oppose Dinkytown plans

Despite owning the majority of Dinkytown properties, landlords might not have a say in the redevelopment plans along 15th Avenue. The plan is intended for the three-and-a-half block portion of 15th Avenue between 5th Street and the railroad bridge just beyond Eighth Street. The vision is for mid- and high-rise, high-density housing that could appeal to not just undergraduate students, but also University of Minnesota faculty and people who work downtown. Patrick Burns, a lawyer for many of the landlords in the neighborhood, said the neighborhood’s “secretive nature” during the design process will result in time consuming litigation if the plan moves forward. Burns said he and the landlords are in the process of drafting a complaint. Continue Reading