Lake Flato has been awarded the design contract for Downtown Austin’s new Central Library. They’ve got $90MM to work with to build 250,000 square feet by 2013.
Below is an estimated timeline for the new Central Library project:
- May 2009 ~ Citizen/Stakeholder input meetings –Co-sponsored by Library Commission and Library Foundation June 2009 ~ Design phase begins
- Spring 2011 ~ Design development completed
- Winter 2011 ~ Construction begins
- Fall 2013 ~ Construction complete
- Spring/Summer 2014-Grand Opening
The site sits partially within a capitol view corridor, so the future building can only be mid-rise and will likely only by three stories. In that regard I like this choice of location. Still, I think this is a poor choice of location in terms of accessibility. I’ve seen plenty of proposed transit maps for ‘future’ Austin, and not a single one shows rail stopping near the library. The people that would benefit the most from this new Central Library are, in my opinion, going to benefit the most from mass transit that can get them to the library! It was an easy choice for the City because they own the land; however, the city could have used condemnation to select a better site that would be more accessible. I expect the building will be beautiful. I just hope it gets used.