New Chinatown library in the works for 2015 - New York News

New Chinatown library in the works for 2015

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The new Chicago Public Library Chinatown Branch was heavily discussed Tuesday in a positive manner by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Public Library Commissioner Brian Bannon, 25th Ward Alderman Danny Solis and members of Chicago’s Chinatown community.

“This beautiful, modern design is a model for what a neighborhood library should be, and it is the latest success story in the new chapter we are writing at Chicago Public Library,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Our libraries are anchors in our communities, and that is why we made a $66 million investment to build, expand and modernize our library system.”

The current library at 2353 South Wentworth Avenue is one of the busiest facilities in Chicago, serving 21,000 customers a month. The new library will be about 16,000 square feet with two levels. It will have a large reading room, the 12th YOUmedia space for teens, a bigger community room, a juvenile and children’s reading room, a lot more meeting space for community use, state of the art technology and it will be accessible for people with disabilities.

“This new library continues to bring world-class design to Chicago’s neighborhoods while creating a community-specific building,” said Library Commissioner Bannon. “This new branch will serve as a gateway to Chinatown, linking the old with the new, and provide a building that serves the modern Chinese immigrant as well as the longtime Chicago resident.”

Details for the new library were discussed and planned back in March with participation from the entire Chinatown community.

“The new Chinatown Branch library represents a new opportunity to further invigorate the Chinatown community,” said Alderman Solis. “It will create a new civic, educational and social hub for Chinatown, providing a place of discovery and learning in our new digital age.”

Skidmore Owings and Merrill were selected to design a facility that represents the history and culture of the Chinatown neighborhood.

“We involved the Chinatown community in this process from the very beginning,” said PBC Executive Director Erin Lavin Cabonargi. “We will continue to work with the community to ensure the design fully embodies the positive energy of the vibrant community it serves.”

The project is an effort to improve the near south side community. The new library will be funded through the 24th/Michigan TIF District and is expected to open in May of 2015.

More information about the library can be found at the Chicago Public Library and Project Better Communities.

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