Questions & Answers
Question: Don't they need to tear down the original 1913 library in order to build the new library?
Answer: No! The great news is the new library will be freestanding. The original 1913 library structure is in great shape yet the Library wants to demolish the building (at great expense) to create a "town green" on one of the "high-incidence accident locations" in New Canaan as per our police chief.
Question: Will the "town green" be a park-like space visitors could use in perpetuity?
Answer: Only an easement can ensure the use of the "town green" in perpetuity. Without an easement, the property can be sold, at any time, by the Library and developed for any use.
Question: So the property is owned by the Library?
Answer: Yes, even though the New Canaan taxpayers paid one-third of the cost of the South Avenue property acquisition, we have no ownership. New Canaan taxpayers pay more than 70% of the operating costs (about $2.4 million each year) and the insurance for the building. The Library is a private organization, but significant contributions by the Town (taxpayers) have established a private/public partnership which by law establishes certain rights by the public.
Question: What could the original 1913 library be used for?
Answer: There are many possibilities.
- Event Space: The Salant Reading Room is gorgeous! Stop by and see it on your next visit to the library!
- Meeting Space for local businesses, workshops, etc.
- Rentable office space
- It could even be used as an annex to the library.