Cultural, Civic, & Arts, *On the Boards
Columbus Library, City Hall & Children’s Museum
The Columbus Community Building is the new home for the public library, city hall, and children’s museum. This shared facility supports the City’s vision to provide a downtown anchor vital to offering egalitarian services enriched by human connection. The three-story, 78,000 sq. ft. facility features a library designed around 21st century library principles, a flexible community room with adjacent teaching kitchen, a two-story volume for children’s exhibits, a tenant-finish coffee shop and a front porch with outdoor learning environments and play.
A front porch warmly recalls a place of gathering, a place where all are welcome. The inclusivity a porch connotes is the message the City desires to portray for its people and visitors. The front porch provides strong physical and visual connections to the two-story library, children’s museum and coffee shop. In addition, it provides much needed play space for downtown Columbus.
Replacing the existing building, the new public library has an expanded role as the central hub for the City. It occupies the prominent corner of 14th street and 26th Avenue, diagonally across from Frankfort Square. Greeted first by a porch complete with outdoor learning, flexible environments and child play, a visitor will enter level 1 to experience an open floor plan. Configurable seating, lounge chair arrangements, a business incubator, genius bar and meeting spaces define the active uses for a library patron. On level 2, youth and family services, teen and adult areas, and children’s programming are arranged on the periphery of a central staff space. Collection shelving is sprinkled throughout both levels of the library.
Frankfort Square is the quintessential town square that initially organized Columbus. The Platte County courthouse abuts the southern edge of the square establishing a traditional relationship between government and public open space. Stretching east of the courthouse, along 14th Street, resides a string of city service buildings. These tired buildings will be razed to provide space for the shared facility to be constructed. Consequently Frankfort Square will have a renewed connection to a vitally important facility alive with active programming.
With this new facility, the City will be able to offer elevated public services, enhance early literacy, stimulate economic development, and attract and retain new talent to the community.