Published by Sun Newspapers January 7, 2013
Recently, I had the privilege of talking with Thomas Felton, director of Cleveland Public Library. I emailed him regarding my concerns for the Carnegie South Library, slated to close for a building assessment and restoration. The library is 101 years old and not much has been done with it. That’s good and that’s bad.
The Carnegie Library, one out of seven left in the Cleveland Public Library system, has the original fireplace, wood carvings and tiles. It’s worth a drive over to Scranton/Clark to see it. It closes for assessment Jan. 13,. If you go near evening it looks particularly beautiful with the lights shining through the original lead glass windows of this building with many Scottish architectural elements.
To me, what is most interesting about our conversation is that Mr. Felton said first and foremost, “we are not rushing into anything.” The assessment includes bringing it back to regular working condition or to bring it up to Carnegie level restoration based on architects’ suggestions.
Secondly, Mr. Felton stated they will have community meetings to get input into this situation before they do anything. They will also be working with Councilman Cummings of the neighborhood for input. Various restoration groups and preservationists will have input as well.
Kudos to Mr. Felton for doing things correctly. Cuyahoga County Public Library rushed to put Telling Mansion on the market, allowed no community input even though our taxes pay for the library buildings and pay their salaries. No council person’s input was engaged to my recollection, because South Euclid council and Mayor Welo say “there’s nothing we can do.”
“Save the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Mansion Library” group is asking that Telling be taken off the market until a proper dialogue takes place.
Let’s do things right. Sari Feldman and Robert Varley, stop being a dictator director and bully board member regarding our community library. This is a $12.6 million project for something we don’t need and we don’t want to lose Telling Mansion.
It’s interesting to note a friend of mine spoke to a former owner of the property slated to be used. The first thing out of his mouth was, “this land is not a good location for a library.”
Let’s not forget the library system has purchased land before to build a library in Mayfield and later changed its mind, as Linda Pagon mentioned in her letter Dec. 20 (“New site for SE-L library branch absolutely not a done deal”).
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