Council wants a do-over on library demolition resolution

Sponsor says he never meant to insinuate Breuer-designed building should be bulldozed

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Atlanta City Councilman C.T. Martin is saying he never intended to endorse the demolition of the Central Atlanta Library, Downtown’s significant — and under-maintained — Marcel Breuer-designed building.

He plans to ask for a do-over of  the legislation that was approved 9-3 at the tail end of a marathon City Council meeting on Monday. This version, so we’re told, will not involve hinting that councilmembers support the idea that the 26-year-old building be leveled for a new library.

According to City Council Spokesman Dexter Chambers, Martin is requesting the legislation be rewritten to show support for keeping the Central Atlanta Library in Downtown. He might also ask Mayor Kasim Reed to veto the resolution that was approved.

“It was not his intent to insinuate that the current building be torn down,” Dexter says. “It was his intent that a new Central Library that the Atlanta Fulton Library System Board of Trustees is planning to bulid be built in Downtown Atlanta.” 

Councilwoman Felicia Moore has since expressed her regret for voting in favor of the measure. In a letter to the trustees, Councilman Andre Dickens, one of three councilmembers to vote against the legislation, said he was surprised by the vote and said more public debate should have occurred. He’s urging the trustees to renovate the library, not tear it down and build in its place.

“As society progresses and technology develops, we have a tendency to lose ourselves in the times, but it is times like these when we must reflect,” Dickens wrote in the letter. “We must realize that we as a city came from somewhere, and it’s up to us to remember that. When we visit great cities around the world, we explore their great buildings and displays of beautiful architecture. Atlanta should be no different and this Library is one of our examples of historic architecture.”