By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Oct 27, 2015 at 11:25 AM

As the reopening of the renovated Tippecanoe Library on Howard and Howell Avenues approaches, we took a look at the progress of the work on the inside and outside of this South Side landmark.

While some Milwaukee libraries have been replaced – like East and Villard Square – others are getting makeovers.

Today, at Tippecanoe, 3912 S. Howell Ave., Mayor Tom Barrett recalled, "when I was preparing to take office as mayor, the discussion was which libraries would be closed, which ones would be combined."

Now, he pointed out, the city will soon have renovated or replaced all the branch libraries in the last couple decades.

Tippecanoe – which opened in 1969 and was designed by Darby, Bogner & Associates – closed in January so that work could begin. Guido Brink's beloved "The Spirit of Manitou" mobile was stored for safekeeping, and a temporary library opened in a retail site across Howell Avenue.

The newly renovated library – designed by Engberg Anderson Architects – reopens on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 10 a.m. But scroll down to get a peek at the progress so far...

1. Tippecanoe will still have its familiar look

2. Bays have been added to let in more light

3. There's a new entry

4. And a new sign

5. There will be a rain garden through here

6. And, sssshhhh!, a secret garden out here

7. Fewer service points encourage staff to be pro-active about serving patrons

8. A community room takes center stage

9. Brink's "The Spirit of Manitou" will return

10. There's a temporary library across Howell Avenue

11. Mayor Tom Barrett & Ald. Terry Witkowski were on hand for today's tour

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.