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 Feb. 6, 2016
Milwaukee is and has always been America's beer capital, so it makes perfect sense that the country's first African American brewery was born here thanks to Theodore Mack, Henry Crosby and their cohorts.
Published Feb. 5, 2016
The '50s might seem like light years away, but, really, you can get there in under an hour, by checking out some of these classic dining spots - including some drive-ins with car hops - in Kenosha.
Published Feb. 5, 2016
Despite the fact that it's cold outside, I wake up in the middle of the night a lot these days thinking about frozen custard. That's because I'm co-authoring a book about this delicacy at the moment and it's consuming me even more than I consume custard, which is saying something.
Published Feb. 1, 2016
Now that the Tippecanoe Library revamp is complete, attention is turning fully toward a mixed-use development that will replace the Mill Road branch. Here are some facts about the planned new library development at 7717 W. Good Hope Rd.
Published Jan. 29, 2016
Two turntables and a microphone has morphed into a laptop. But not all club DJs have given vinyl the toss. We caught up with Steven Watkins, who DJs at numerous venues around town, playing a variety of music to ask him about working as an "unplugged" turntablist.
Published Jan. 27, 2016
We're celebrating unplugged week here at OnMilwaukee - ironic, I know - but it's a perfect reminder that there is plenty to get out and do in this town if you'd just put the damn phone down for a minute (yes, guilty as charged). Here are six museums and shows worth checking out right now...
Published Jan. 26, 2016
Another remnant of old Milwaukee will soon disappear from the landscape as workers begin to deconstruct the four-story, 16-flat Vermont, 610 E. Mason St., to make way for Northwestern Mutual's 33-story, more than $100 million development that will occupy nearly the entire block.
Published Jan. 25, 2016
Each year on Jan. 25, Scotland and Scot-o-philes and poetry fans celebrate Burns Night to mark the birthday of the legendary voice of Caledonia, Robert Burns. Get in the spirit with some single malts from Islay.
Published Jan. 25, 2016
Has a book as gripping and engaging as Nicholas Petrie's crime novel, "The Drifter," ever been written about Milwaukee? Interweaving terrorism, homelessness, veterans and Riverwest, the book is a compelling page-turner.
Published Jan. 23, 2016
South Milwaukee native Lauren Kleppin, a professional runner who trains in Arizona, was on hand for the debut of the PNC Milwaukee Running Festival las autumn. We took that opportunity to ask Kleppin for some advice for runners.