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 Nov. 26, 2014
Big changes are on tap at Milwaukee Art Museum, where the collections galleries are closed while the permanent collection is re-installed and an expansion project is under construction. MAM's Senior Conservator Jim DeYoung is the man charged with getting it done on time, on budget and, most importantly, without damage.
Published Nov. 25, 2014
When Mayor Tom Barrett visited Highland Community School on Monday to welcome home a group of adolescent students from China, the trip -- according to the students themselves -- wasn't officially over yet. Today, it is officially complete.
Published Nov. 25, 2014
This year, Dental Associates completed its restoration of the Iron Block Building -- actually a pair of connected buildings dating from 1860 and 1899 -- and the work put a gorgeous new luster on one of Downtown's most aged landmarks. As Milwaukee's only iron-facade building, it's a real Milwaukee gem. To look at the historic Iron Block Building on the corner of Water and Wisconsin now, you'd be hard-pressed to believe it almost didn't survive.
Published Nov. 24, 2014
The photomontages created by Eau Claire's Then and Now Photography seamlessly meld images of the same place but from different eras, creating a fascinating and unique look at how familiar sites in Milwaukee have changed over the years.
Published Nov. 22, 2014
The world's most famous ice skating rink shimmers beneath what must be the most impressive urban tree, perhaps in the world, and the shop windows in the Center and along Fifth Avenue must be seen to be believed. Crowds queue to see the holiday spectacular at Radio City Music Hall and Times Square is decked out in green and red. And all America comes to check it out.
Published Nov. 21, 2014
Few likely know the idea of farm to table better than new Blue Jacket chef Justice Neal. Neal, after all, went from farm to table himself, having grown up on 40 acres near Beloit. Recently, Neal, who served as the restaurant's sous, was promoted to replace departing chef Matt Kerley, who had run the kitchen at Blue Jacket since 2013. Since he's already launched a new menu, we decided it was time to check in with him about his work in the kitchen.
Published Nov. 21, 2014
Milwaukee Public Library looks into Milwaukee's historic public schoolhouses with a small exhibit and panel discussion at Central Library.
Published Nov. 20, 2014
Thanksgiving is on the horizon and you're hosting (or attending) a family dinner. What to do about wine? How to find something that pairs well with both turkey and cranberries? How to find a wine that appeals to you, your parents and Aunt Millie? It can be challenging, but experts say a few simple rules can help guide the way...
Published Nov. 18, 2014
One of the most recent building "booms" at Milwaukee Public Schools added a handful of new schools to the city's landscape, but at least one planned project -- and perhaps more -- never saw the light of day.
Published Nov. 14, 2014
Serious music fans will relate. Though a lot of music enters my ears, very few make the kind of impression that Lucy Wainwright Roche's 2013 record, "There's A Last Time For Everything," made on me. A year later I can tell you exactly where I was when I first popped it into the CD player and sat transfixed, unable to move. Lucy Wainwright Roche comes to Milwaukee next week, and we talked to her about it.