02 February 2009

First, Do No Harm

A few years ago, the city of Minneapolis, in all its wisdom, decided to spent at least $140 million on a glamorous museum dedicated to antiquated preservation of words printed on dead trees that must be physically picked up and carried around in backpacks.

This silly splurge essentially bankrupted the city library system and forced it to merge with the partially-redundant Hennipen County Library system. Spreading city-created problems over a wider tax base is a card frequently played by the chuckleheads in the city council.

Well, at the end of the day, at least there's a nice building there, right? Yea, unless it kills you.

The Minneapolis Central Library has closed most of its Nicollet Mall entrance because of icicles forming and falling from the building’s distinctive “wing.” Many people think the design of the building and wing is to blame, and someone should have foreseen this problem. “I think whoever designed this should be held responsible for it,” said Craig Jenkins, who said he visits the library regularly. “They should have known there would be icicles in Minnesota, especially with the way [the wing] was designed.”
Sounds like the architect might not have bothered with silly details like the climate in which the library was to be built. Very reminiscent of the new California-designed movie theaters at Rosedale that included neato outdoor ticket windows. Good thinking!

When the building was built, reports said the wing would be equipped with a snow-melting system that would filter runoff and prevent icicles from forming, but Lief said he wasn’t aware of a system like that currently in place. He said the library has hired a consultant and is in the preliminary stages of finding a solution to the problem, but he added that it’s a complicated process.
So, one might now ask was a de-icer really put on the roof when the ribbon was cut, or was that just happy talk from city's PR spigot? Now we're going to find a consultant. What'll that cost -I mean, on top of what you paid the rock star architect and his firm?

Another problem aside from falling ice is the blocked entrance and ice debris. “They just block it off and leave it until spring,” Jenkins said. “It’s an inconvenience for any taxpayer.”
Walk around, chumps; just keep walking around. And pay you taxes on time, too.

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