Voices: Sell the Old Central Library Space

Voices: Sell the Old Central Library Space

Photo by Sam Hodgson

The Central Library downtown.

With the new Central Library opening in September, the old Central Library is getting emptied. VOSD reporting intern Alex Corey explored possibilities for the space: “There’s no formal blueprint — at least not one that’s been shared with the public — but there are plenty of ideas floating around about what should become of the building,” including an art gallery or YMCA.

Our commenters’ ideas ranged, too. What do you want to see in the old Central Library space? Let us know.

  • Don Wood:

C’mon. This is San Diego, a city with no sense of history. They will bulldoze the old building and replace it with a cheaply constructed high-rise apartment or condo tower, just like they do everywhere else. If you’re new to town, just look and see how many buildings built more than 75 years ago that are still standing today. Nothing gets in the way of quick developer profits in this city.

  • Jim Jones:

Sell it and be done with it. It’s not special in any way, just another old tired not very attractive building.

Still better looking than the gaudy Faberge egg that replaced it though, that thing is an eyesore.

  • Don Blucher:

Seems to me the “mixed-use” idea is one appropriate option. A “San Diego city center” or other such name. Including cafes, dry cleaners, a bakery, shops, grocery, a museum of San Diego History, a small San Diego Police Department storefront, safe places sprinkled throughout to sit, read, converse, and get out of the heat or cold. As the city increases the downtown density with all the adjacent high-rises, residents need interesting, vibrant places to “hang out,” run errands and generally enjoy the best that this city has to offer. The state receives rents and revenues from Old Town State Park. Why can’t our city receive similar benefits from long-term lessees in this building? Seems like productive, responsible urban planning and management to me.

  • Tegan Glasheen:

If the city owns the building and is elsewhere leasing office space (even with the Hughes-brokered good deal), why not turn it into city offices? Would its sale price or rental revenue beat the savings of free space?

  • Bill Bradshaw:

Get rid of the damn thing and sell off a lot of other idle property the city has simply been sitting on. I’m tired of storm drains leaking, police understaffing, streets that tear my car apart and…

Comments have been lightly edited for style, grammar and clarity. See anything in there we should fact check? Tell us what to check out here.

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Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was the former web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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12 comments
David Crossley
David Crossley

The city better sell it, and use the proceeds to pay the costs on Filner's legal bills.

David Crossley
David Crossley subscriber

The city better sell it, and use the proceeds to pay the costs on Filner's legal bills.

Allen Hemphill
Allen Hemphill

Convert the previous library building to a sanctuary for the women on Filner's staff, one with an entry sign that reads, "Filthy Filner Free Zone," There could be a Reading Room, featuring books on Sexual Harassment And The Abandonment Of Women To The Advancement Of The Overall Progressive Movement, and restrooms with decontamination chambers. There could be kiosks featuring chain mail underwear, and air horns (whistles are too quiet to stop Filner). The building could even contain a full TV studio, so national media could broadcast the San Diego Mayoralty Reality Show that we have recently become. The San Diego Sanctuary could have a Dance Studio to give women the moves to avoid the Filner Grasp, and a running track to keep the women quick enough to run away. The opportunities are endless, and growing.

Allen Hemphill
Allen Hemphill subscribermember

Convert the previous library building to a sanctuary for the women on Filner's staff, one with an entry sign that reads, "Filthy Filner Free Zone," There could be a Reading Room, featuring books on Sexual Harassment And The Abandonment Of Women To The Advancement Of The Overall Progressive Movement, and restrooms with decontamination chambers. There could be kiosks featuring chain mail underwear, and air horns (whistles are too quiet to stop Filner). The building could even contain a full TV studio, so national media could broadcast the San Diego Mayoralty Reality Show that we have recently become. The San Diego Sanctuary could have a Dance Studio to give women the moves to avoid the Filner Grasp, and a running track to keep the women quick enough to run away. The opportunities are endless, and growing.

Richard Ross
Richard Ross

The old downtown library was a daytime homeless shelter. Why not convert it to a 24/7 homeless shelter instead of the new downtown library becoming a daytime homeless shelter?

Richard Ross
Richard Ross subscribermember

The old downtown library was a daytime homeless shelter. Why not convert it to a 24/7 homeless shelter instead of the new downtown library becoming a daytime homeless shelter?

Paul Girard
Paul Girard

It does have an iconic facade. My first thought was to keep it as a branch library so the lettering could be preserved. But a more civic purpose, like rent-free office space, or social services might be great, too.

Paul Girard
Paul Girard subscribermember

It does have an iconic facade. My first thought was to keep it as a branch library so the lettering could be preserved. But a more civic purpose, like rent-free office space, or social services might be great, too.

Francine Phillips
Francine Phillips subscribermember

:The best use of this space is for a childcare center for downtown working couples. Give families a break. Pair that with a downtown seniors partnership program and now you have synergy going that will create a better downtown community for residents and workers.

Francine Phillips
Francine Phillips

:The best use of this space is for a childcare center for downtown working couples. Give families a break. Pair that with a downtown seniors partnership program and now you have synergy going that will create a better downtown community for residents and workers.

Allen Hemphill
Allen Hemphill

There could be a concession granted to the Francine Busby Waffle Shop.

Allen Hemphill
Allen Hemphill subscribermember

There could be a concession granted to the Francine Busby Waffle Shop.