Tippecanoe Library, 4912 S. Howell Ave., at Howard Avenue, is due for a makeover and yesterday, Milwaukee Public Library announced the selection of Engberg Anderson as the architect for the Tippecanoe project.
Though the firm was selected in a competitive process, it has an ongoing relationship with MPL, having renovated other branches. Engberg Anderson also designed the new Villard Square Library.
In addition to the Tippecanoe revamp, the city plans to pump $21.5 million into rebuilding four neighborhood libraries, including Forest Home, Mill Road, Capitol and Martin Luther King, as part of mixed-use developments, like the one currently under construction on the site of the former (and future) East Library on North Avenue.
"Our libraries are a vital part of our community – an investment in libraries is an investment in the stability of our city," said Mayor Tom Barrett in a statement issued Tuesday. "Great cities have great libraries and a thriving library system improves access to information resources, economic opportunity, literacy, education and quality of life in our neighborhoods."
Ground was broken on the current Tippecanoe library – which was designed by Milwaukee architectural firm Darby, Bogner and Associates – in November 1968. It was built at a cost of $471,400.
About 4,000 people turned out on Sunday, Nov. 16, 1969 for a dedication ceremony for the new 15,000-square foot library, illuminated not only by large windows facing the street but also by copious skylights.
One of the most instantly recognizable features of the library is Guido Brink’s hanging tri-color metal sculpture, "The Spirit of Manitou," which was there on opening day and remains in place today.
"I am absolutely thrilled to see that the Tippecanoe Library branch in my district is slated for renovations this year," says Ald. Terry L. Witkowski. "Several years back, it was rumored that Tippecanoe was in fact listed as a candidate for closure due to budget cuts. Working together with neighbors and stakeholders, we collected more than 1,000 signatures that we presented in support of maintaining services at the library.
"Fortunately, the neighborhood prevailed, and it’s obvious from this announcement that Tippecanoe is no longer anywhere near the chopping block. It’s a big part of the fabric of the neighborhood, and I look forward to seeing the new facilities and amenities that will be offered at Tippecanoe Library."
There are no renderings of the changes on tap for Tippecanoe yet. That’s because MPL will likely develop some basic concepts to share at a public meeting, probably in the next couple months. Feedback garnered there will inform the more detailed design phase. This is the same process used in developing Villard and East Libraries.
"By summer of 2015, users of our Tippecanoe branch will have a brand new library space," said MPL Director Paula Kiely in the statement. "As with Villard Square and the soon-to-open East Branch, Tippecanoe users can expect to have a 21st century environment, rich with technology and flexible spaces for interaction and community connection."
"With community input, we will create a space that Tippecanoe neighbors and library users value," said Bill Robison, lead library architect for Engberg Anderson. "We look forward to being part of such a meaningful community project."
A project manager will soon be appointed to head up the multi-year rebuilding project.
In an interesting aside, when the Milwaukee Sentinel reported on the opening of Tippecanoe library, more ink was expended on what didn’t occur than on what did.
Under a headline reading, "Political Confrontation Quiet at Library Fete," an unnamed reporter wrote, "There were no unfriendly incidents involving the mayor (Henry Maier), (Ald. Robert A.) Anderson and the crowd. Anderson, known for his hot temper in city hall, last week wrote Maier suggesting that he stay away from Sunday’s ceremony."
Anderson reportedly told the mayor that the people of the 19th ward didn’t like him.
"It is because of this favoritism and possible crowd hostility that I do not encourage you to attend this dedication," Anderson said.
However, a neighborhood group called Community 19 sent the mayor a telegram assuring him he was welcome.
"We are sure that the residents of this ward are pleased that their mayor is expected to attend," the telegram read, "and as responsible citizens would not embarrass their ward or themselves by causing political controversy at the public ceremony dedicating a facility of which we all should be proud."
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published Sept. 16, 2014
Though the exhibition was a small one, Milwaukee photographer Kevin Miyazaki's "Perimeter" show at the Haggerty Museum was one of the highlights of the local arts scene in 2013. Now, the project is showcased in a hardcover book -- officially launched with an event on Wednesday, Sept. 17 -- and we caught up with Miyazaki to ask him about the inspiration for and the perspiration of creating this unmatched exploration of Lake Michigan and its diverse users.
Published Sept. 16, 2014
Decades after the break-up of The Rascals, Felix Cavaliere is still performing. We caught up with him before he arrives in Milwaukee this week for a gig at the Northern Lights Theater.
Published Sept. 15, 2014
There are few events more exciting for me than Doors Open Milwaukee, which takes place this coming weekend, Sept. 20-21, as dozens of locations around town as venues of all kinds swing open their doors to let Milwaukeeans see inside. There are churches, schools, office buildings, historic sites and much more.Here are six you won't want to miss!
Published Sept. 13, 2014
Like you, we love the Klement's Racing Sausages. But, the other day, while gazing down at the figures on a T-shirt celebrating 20 years of sal-seech, I wondered if a few of them couldn't use a bit of a makeover and if the time is ripe for a sixth member of the meat-grinder gang.
Published Sept. 10, 2014
Once upon a time, The Modjeska Theater, 1134 W. Mitchell St., was a neighborhood movie palace, the big daddy of Mitchell Street, the second busiest thoroughfare in Milwaukee after Wisconsin Avenue. Now, after four dormant years, and decades after it ended its run as a movie house, Mitchell Street Development Opportunity Corporation is cleaning it up, with an eye toward re-opening in spring with a mix of movies, concerts and other live performances.
Published Sept. 9, 2014
I love finding bits of Milwaukee history and now more than ever they're easy to find online.
Published Sept. 8, 2014
Madison's non-partisan Forward Institute released a report Monday that looked at education funding across the state of Wisconsin and found that over the past decade increasing poverty, deep education cuts, voucher expansion, the economic recession and growing rates of bilingual and special needs enrollment have led to a system that fuels funding and opportunity gaps among Wisconsin students and communities.
Published Sept. 7, 2014
A few weeks ago, I looked at missed opportunities, ugly spaces and other problem spots east of the river. This time, I go west.
Published Sept. 5, 2014
When school opened for the majority of MPS schools this week, most every program had a new 30-hour-a-week parent coordinator paraprofessional on staff to help school staff and families build bridges. At least one school's coordinator has constructed a successful one via social media. It's a model that could be successfully duplicated at other schools.
Published Sept. 3, 2014
The office of the County Executive Chris Abele today released an updated plan -- announced in collaboration with Mayor Tom Barrett -- for the mixed-use Couture high-rise development on the lakefront.