Post #544: A brief comment on the Proposed Patrick Henry Parking Garage*

* and library.

Question 1:  What do these localities have in common:

  1. Fairfax County.
  2. Loudoun County.
  3. Arlington County (I think).
  4. Prince William County

Answer?  None of these localities has a library built into the first floor of a multi-story parking garage.  Or, at least, none that I could find after spending some significant time with their websites and Google Maps.

Question 2:  If you propose to spend millions of dollars building something in a way that nobody else has ever chosen to build, do you:

  1. Pat yourself on the back for originality.
  2. Rethink what you are doing, because maybe there’s a reason nobody does it that way.
  3. Never even to look to see how anybody else does it.

Answer:  Unfortunately, I get the feeling for the Town of Vienna, the answer is going to be 3.  They aren’t going to stick their heads up, look around, and see if they can find even one example of a library on the first floor of a parking garage.

Anyway, the genesis of this posting was my attempt to find even one library, in NoVA, built along the lines of the proposed Patrick Henry Parking Garage and Library.   The idea was that I’d ask the Town to visit that building, talk to the people who use it, and so on, before committing to the current library-under-garage design.

But the result is that I couldn’t find one.  Maybe I just missed it, but as of now, I think that’s a correct finding.  So if we build this, it’ll be the only one for many miles around.

I don’t think that’s a good thing.  I’d say that this fact, by itself, ought to give a sober person pause.  But if the Town never even looks for a real-world example of what they are proposing, they’ll never even realize quite how unusual their proposed library is.