E-DEMOCRACY | What’s going on with the Webber Park Library?


From: Tony Hill Date: 3:35am, Dec 18

Could someone provide some background about how it is the Webber Park Library was demolished? It was only built in 1980, making it one of the newest MPLs (or should I say one of the LAST Minneapolis Public Libraries?)

The Walker Library was built about the same time and has also been demolished, but I understand that is because it was undersized and had an unusual underground design that didn’t lend itself to expansion.

From: John Harris Date: 3:48am, Dec 18

Didn’t it have a structural issue?


From: Cheryl Luger Date: 4:20am, Dec 18

structural issue is putting it mildly. while the cause is yet undetermined … weather and soil, webber park pool reconstruction, no basement foundation.

the pictures in the link below make it pretty clear on why it was closed.

and not rebuild ? cost prohibitive and, possibly unlike the very first webber location , i don’t think there was anything historic with this site..

while the north side tornado damaged parts of webber park, the library escaped.

check out this year’s photos….especially the separating bricks at foundation. patrons inside were lucky….the only casualty was a laptop computer turned to flatbread.


best wishes,

Cheryl luger
Nokomis east

ps… as far as eminent domain…i have a real problem in many cases with its use )(best buy, that east coast case taking land for a private real estate development).

i watched testimony from the hollers at both the county and city levels several years ago.

i really want that library but feel the compensation should be greater than market value (see strib article and comments).

long story…won’t bore ya.

From: Pat Byrne Date: 3:14pm, Dec 18

Does it’s structural inadequacies, building and/or grounds, negate the wisdom or need for community discussion/involvement concerning either its future, as in making people aware, or the future of a replacement for the community?

From: Kris Brogan Date: 4:38pm, Dec 18

As with any public building and especially one that the public will use on a regular basis it is imperative that the community the building will serve have a voice in the location and design of the building.

The Webber Park Library building has had structural problems and the cost of repair for a tine (4,000 sq.ft.) bldg could not be justified. The City of Minneapolis has a long history of including community voices in the development of public buildings and spaces. With the recent renovations of neighborhood libraries in the City and the construction of a new library in Uptown the communities were very much a part of the discussion. Outside the City of Minneapolis when Hennepin County built a new library in Excelsior the citizens of that community demanded the opportunity to have a voice in the the design of the structure.

Community engagement is not a new idea. It is an idea that works.

From: Kris Brogan Date: 4:58pm, Dec 18

The current Webber Park Library has sever structural problems (part of the ceiling collapsed when patrons ere in the library) and the cost of re-engineering this 4,000 sq. ft. structure was deemed to be impractical. A temporary site in a store front a couple of blocks away (Lyndale and 42nd Ave N) will be home to the library until a new library can be built.

The land that the Webber Park Library was built on will revert back to the Minneapolis Park Board as part of the agreement from when the library was first built.

The important issue – not the failure of the structure, the temporary space, nor the concept of building a new library – is the engagement of the community in identifying a new location (cannot be located at Webber Park), siting the building at the new location, and the design of the building must be determined through a community engagement process. That is what the neighbors, patrons, community members are asking for from the County Commissioners.

From: Madeline Douglass Date: 7:47pm, Dec 18

This article says that the Hollers want $1 million for a house worth $275K. According to the article they are living in another “very nice” house nearby. They are angry that Hennepin County is “depriving them of their dream.”

A “lotto” dream. Investors who own property someone else wants to buy, as I recall owners of land any of our stadiums have been built on set this example, such investors always want extraordinary amounts of money for their “investment”.


Madeline Douglass
Dowtown Stadiumzilla East

From: Mark V Anderson Date: 2:08am

Maybe so. But that doesn’t give the county the right to just take the house. Well, the moral right, apparently they do have the legal right.

From what I read in this thread, the current library land is unsuitable to build on, so they have to put the library elsewhere. So why does it have to be right next to the current one? Why not find some land in the neighborhood from someone willing to sell for the market price? That would save the county money, not reward the lotto dreams of the Hollers, and most importantly, not steal the land using eminent domain, which as far as I am concerned, is immoral except in extreme circumstances.

From: phyllis Kahn Date: 5:15pm

Eminent Domain seems an eminently sensible solution. Remember the process sets a FAIR price.

From: Eugene Swanson Date: 1:27pm

thank you Wizard…

For understanding the fight we have been having trying to get Webber Library replaced. We have been fighting for years to get a new library with computers for young and old alike. To tell our community to either go to Brooklyn Center or North Regional is unfair to many that can not utilize the bus system, or do not have a car.

Many children attending Patrick Henry High School, or any of the grade schools in our area need access to computers and reference materials.

There is also a senior high rise within walking distance, and many of our seniors could use computers, as well as get reading material.

The librarians and ancillary staff at Webber Library have always been very helpful and take their time to assist patrons as much as they can.

Yes, our community, of Camden, Victory, Lind-Bohahnon, Shingle Creek and Jordan all deserve a new library.

We have sat by and observed all the new or remodeling that has gone on at suburban libraries, while we sit and get empty promises from the Hennepin Co. Commissioners and are told to “wait our turn”.

Thank you Comm. Opat for all your efforts for so long and Comm. Higgins for seeing a need and stepping up to help fix it.

Gene Swanson

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