Tippecanoe Library, 3912 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 â€“ 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 â€“ which was designed by Milwaukee architectural firm Darby, Bogner and Associates â€“ 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 Brinkâ€™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 itâ€™s obvious from this announcement that Tippecanoe is no longer anywhere near the chopping block. Itâ€™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. Thatâ€™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 didnâ€™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 Sundayâ€™s ceremony."
Anderson reportedly told the mayor that the people of the 19th ward didnâ€™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 May 4, 2016
Tenants have already started moving into the third phase of The North End complex along North Water Street, and the Fresh Thyme Market is shaping up to open next month. We got a peek inside.
Published May 3, 2016
Milwaukee Public Library has launched a new video series called "Stories from the Stacks," and the segments offer a mix of interesting stories about the library, including a powerful one about an author that wrote a book at the Central Library while she was homeless.
Published May 3, 2016
Rarely have I felt the pressure to write one of these spelunking stories so quickly. But, in this case, time might be of the essence. That's because last week I got a tour of the trio of buildings that were home to Laacke and Joys before it vacated a couple years ago and demolition was expected to start if not quite any minute, then certainly any day.
Published May 3, 2016
Last year, the city approved a plan by Maures Development Group to redevelop a set of buildings, including the Henry Koch-designed former Garfield Avenue School, into mixed-income housing, a new America's Black Holocaust Museum and more. What's up?
Published May 2, 2016
When I became a dad and my kids neared school age, I hoped they'd have a teacher like the one who made a lasting impression on me. A few years into their school careers, I can honestly say that my wish has already come true.
Published April 30, 2016
After a long hiatus from making music full-time, Carter Hunnicutt (of Those XCleavers and Flat Rabbits) is back in the game. He releases a six-track CD, "Dangerous World," at Circle A Cafe in Riverwest on Sunday, May 22. We got him talking...
Published April 28, 2016
We are deep into spring now, whether or not the weather is playing along, and being Milwaukeeans we can't wait to get outside and enjoy the fun months. Here are seven postcard images showing our forefathers letting loose in old Milwaukee...
Published April 26, 2016
Musician Gary Myers spent a number of years playing in many Milwaukee clubs with his bands The Night Beats, The Darnells and The Cashmeres (Mojo Men, later The Portraits). Fortunately, he also took photographs of the places where he performed.
Published April 25, 2016
The timing of a couple press releases today brings up the question of whether or not the images showing a revamped The Shops of Grand Avenue embrace diversity.
Published April 25, 2016
After putting together a design team to look at ways to transform The Shops of Grand Avenue, the property's owners today released a series of renderings showing ways the mall could be converted into a mix of large office spaces, retail - including a grocery store - and more.