SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


By John Stewart


September 09, 2007
Sunday PM

I was here when the Centennial building was constructed for the purpose of housing the library, which had been crowded into the City Hall building.

I happen to think that it is a masterpiece of architecture; perfectly site-situated, and very successful for it's intended purpose. It could not fit into it's surroundings better if it had grown there.

Now, forty years later, the library needs more room than what is had by sharing this building with the museum. The museum is plagued by the same issues.

We also need a new Fire Station downtown.

If we were to build a new Fire hall on Stedman St. (property is available at reasonable cost) near Schmolck's, the engines answering a call would have ready access into downtown or Bear Valley via Deermount St. without having to negotiate steep, narrow streets and tight turns every time.

That would free up the historic fire hall to be used as the new museum, thereby keeping an attraction in the downtown area as a much needed anchor. Perhaps a glass atrium built over the existing parking apron could house a sculpture park. Next door, the old Elks/Fireside building is for sale and could answer the possible need for more space at a reasonable price as advertised.

The library would nearly double its space in the Centennial building with the museum move. Future expansion could be realized by bridging the creek with an addition to the building in the same style on engineered concrete spans. A timber frame third story (similar to an option at the time it was built) could be added and carried over married mans trail on the far side. A reading room in the trees. A foot-bridge could cross over under the building. Design cost's should be very reasonable as the style is set and the engineering is done by the manufacturer of the pre-stressed concrete panels.

The cost of these three projects would save the community between twenty and thirty million dollars as compared to the proposals so far advanced for the moving of the library to new quarters and demolition/remodel of the Centennial building.

Received August 29, 2007 - Published September 09, 2007

About: " Long time resident"


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Ketchikan, Alaska