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Glenwood library design to feature historic look

Rendering by Humphries Poli ArchitectsAn architectural rendering shows the exterior of the planned new Glenwood Springs Branch Library looking to the northwest from the middle of the 800 block of Cooper Avenue. A main entrance to the shared library and Colorado Mountain College facility would be located on the southeast corner of the building, seen here.
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The Garfield County Public Library District’s planned new Glenwood Springs facility would mimic the city’s historic downtown character with an exterior design similar to much of the city’s early civic architecture.

That’s according to the formal development application for the two-story, 28,000-square-foot shared public library and Colorado Mountain College building at the southwest corner of Cooper and Eighth.

The application was submitted to city planners in late December. It is currently scheduled for a public hearing before the Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday, Jan. 24.



The plans could come before city council for review as soon as Feb. 16.

“This proposal preserves the existing scale and historic building character, and assists in strengthening the downtown’s role as the historic center of the community,” according to the plan presented by Humphries Poli Architects on behalf of the library district.



Details about the historic architectural elements in the library design came in response to initial concerns expressed during a conceptual review of the new library plans by city officials last fall.

Among the concerns was what some viewed as a modern design that failed to follow the city’s historic design guidelines for the downtown zone district.

“We have taken the angles out of the building and aligned it with the sidewalk and street, which was one of the concerns,” library district director Amelia Shelley said. “The architects also reduced the amount of glazing on the building, to bring it in line with the more historic structures.”

“Earth-colored” masonry on the building’s exterior would be similar to that used for the historic Hotel Colorado, the U.S. Forest Service building (former Post Office) and the Garfield County Courthouse, according to the development proposal.

As proposed, the plan will include the new 14,000-square-foot library on the first level, with a main entrance off of Cooper Avenue, and a 6,000-square-foot outdoor community plaza at the south end of the building.

An unfinished 14,000-square-foot second floor would be reserved for future use by CMC and possibly other library uses, with a walkway connection across the alley to CMC’s new building at 802 Grand Ave.

A 65-space underground parking garage beneath the building would be intended for CMC employees during daytime business hours. It would be made available to the public after hours and on weekends, according to the proposal.

The city currently owns the 25,000 square-foot site, but plans to transfer it to the library district. The library intends to condominiumize the portions of the building to be used by CMC and will transfer ownership to the college district after construction.

The library district is hoping to break ground on the $6 million Glenwood Springs library project in April, Shelley said. The new library is to replace the existing Glenwood Springs Branch Library at the corner of Ninth and Blake.

Meanwhile, plans could also be submitted next week for the library district’s planned new 13,000-square-foot Carbondale library, to be located at the corner of Sopris and Third.

Another community meeting to discuss design features for the new Carbondale facility is planned for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 12, at the Gordon Cooper Library in Carbondale.

The Carbondale project is tentatively scheduled before that town’s planning commission in mid-February. Construction bidding for the $5 million project is not expected to happen until May, Shelley said.

jstroud@postindependent.com


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