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Monday, July 17, 2006 | Regarding the library story. For a long time, I have thought there is a simple solution to the library issue:
1. Take the building where Golden Hall is (the Concourse) and turn it into the library, with a huge makeover (including a big dome on top, if that’s what it takes).
2. Sell the land the city owns where the library is supposed to be, and this will pay for either the new library or,
3. Swap the library land for other land downtown, and build a new Concourse for smaller conventions (so hotels like the W, the Grant and the Westgate aren’t left hanging with no convention space around).
The two-block parcels where the California Theater and the 4th and B nightclub are would make an awesome spot for a new, small convention center with parking.
I once looked at the Convention & Visitors Bureau website and noticed that the Concourse has just a little under the same amount of square feet as the proposed new library does. If you added floor space in an imaginative way, it could be even bigger.
There is no way this plan would cost $180 million. Plus, it would re-use the Concourse (and even though San Diego isn’t about preservation, it is a pretty striking example of architecture of its time).
Just a thought.