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What Should San Diego Do With Its Old Downtown Library Building?

Credit: Shelley, Flickr

Above: San Diego's old Central Library building on E Street.

Interim Mayor Todd Gloria said that as the opening of the new library downtown approaches, he's also making plans for the old library building.

San Diego's new Central Library will open downtown at the end of the month. The nine-story building with its shiny silver dome is a new addition to San Diego's skyline. But the city isn't forgetting about the old Central Library building.

Interim Mayor Todd Gloria said at his media briefing last week that as the opening of the new library downtown approaches, he's also making other plans.

"As soon as we open up that new facility, I want to make sure we have a plan in place for the old facility, and make sure that we put it back into a useful life for the citizens, the taxpayers, and of course the residents of downtown," he said.

Gloria said he's asked Civic San Diego to collect ideas for what to do with the old 150,000 square foot building.

The nonprofit corporation will look into a process for soliciting bids, he said. The idea would be to find a way to reuse the old building now that the library has moved.

Gloria's spokeswoman said details and a timeline for the request for proposals will be released in three or four weeks.

The new 500,000 square foot library building will have a large auditorium, a three-story domed reading room, a courtyard and café. The e3 Civic High charter school will occupy the building's sixth and seventh floors.

Its opening on Sept. 28 will be like a street fair, Gloria said, with tens of thousands of San Diegans expected to come.

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