Seeking to ensure that the Hamline Midway Library is not torn down as part of the St. Paul Public Library’s (SPPL) future plans for the building, a group of community activists, historic preservationists, and neighborhood residents has formed to push for creative reuse of the historic library building located at 1558 Minnehaha Avenue. Calling themselves “Renovate 1558” – in recognition of the library’s street address – the group hopes to steer SPPL away from any discussion of demolition and focus instead on upgrades that address space needs, accessibility, energy efficiency, and water infiltration issues while retaining the historic character of the former Henry Hale Memorial Library. The group believes that if SPPL continues to advocate for a new building to house the Hamline Midway Library, it should pursue relocation so that the present building can be repurposed and preserved, similar to the 2014 relocation of the Arlington Hills Library and repurposing of its former home – one of three Carnegie Library buildings in St. Paul – as the East Side Freedom Library. More at www.Renovate1558.org.
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