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North of the site, Veterans Parkway, recently built along a historic rail corridor, provides a civilized vehicular approach to the city that avoids the pitfalls of earlier arterials and urban freeways.This moderate-speed parkway includes naturalized areas and a multi-use trail along its south side, though a rail line and some utilitarian industrial buildings remain to the north.Historically it contained a mix of residential and civic buildings, including churches and the former city hall southwest of the library.But as the 20th century progressed, more and more buildings along Maple were replaced by parking lots, including the library’s, which was paved from building to sidewalks’ edges.Linked by a new shared lobby to the former library, which will be converted into a community center, the project transforms a piece of the urban fabric that was severely damaged in the twentieth century, reintegrating the adjacent historic neighborhood and main street and providing a gateway from the new Veterans Parkway.The new building also transforms and expands the architectural vocabulary of the existing building to create a coherent complex with a civic presence and inviting, humane scale.

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This allows a gable-roofed volume, rotated 90 degrees, to be opened to the south through a series of tall windows.To address program requirements, a full-height glazing system provides separation between the “secured” open office functions and the “public” café and conference area while providing lighting and visual cues of a larger unified space beyond.As part of the glazing wall separation, social seating areas offer the ambience of electric fireplaces viewable from both sides of the wall.Originally, two too-low support zones flanked a vaulted clear-span reading room with generous clerestories at the north and a delightful grouping of angled stone walls and windows at the south.However, from the beginning some support zones and meeting spaces were in a windowless basement.

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