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When construction ends on Elmwood Park, it will begin at the library, tying together the two institutions.
Friday, June 14, 2013
To get the best view for what’s happening on the ground with the Elmwood Park reconstruction, you need to zip on a safety vest, slip into a hard hat and snag an invitation onto the grounds. Without all that, the curious can peek in around the edges, or for safer research, you can’t beat a trip to the library.
From the rear windows of Roanoke’s main library, a good enough overview of part of the park can be had, especially the part that will contain a huge new amphitheater and seating. Eventually, that view will get even better once the next city library project is completed.
As soon as the park is finished, construction will begin on the first phase of the main library project that seeks finally to unite the two institutions. Though the park and the library are neighbors, they haven’t engaged much more than a brief wave at each other’s existence.
Features at the park incorporate the architecture of the library, providing the eye the illusion that they flow with each other. The library project will turn the illusion to reality. French doors will replace the windows of the library’s rear wall and open onto a deck constructed on the hillside above the amphitheater. The space for library programs will blend with the park and increase seating capacity for gatherings.
Even patrons entering the library’s front doors off Jefferson Street will be drawn visually to the park, as the stacks of books will be lowered and open up the line of sight to the rear — sure to capture the wow factor.
For now, though, the excitement is on the ground at Elmwood Park as crews hustle to keep the project on-time for its public debut on Sept. 15. Parks & Arts will host the free finale of its initial season with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra presenting “Peter and the Wolf” with the Southwest Virginia Ballet Company. A day when all will find a view to their liking.
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