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The Southdale Hennepin Library
in Edina, Minnesota

Southdale Hennepin Library
Hey, Gorgeous*

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The beautiful Southdale Hennepin Library in Edina, Minnesota USA

Music Association: James Blunt - You're BeautifulHennepin County Library at Southdale (Edina, MN)
*  The title of this post is a nod to the sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations in the news the past few weeks.
Our culture is evolving... slowly. Congress needs to apply transparency to its hush money (pdf). Agreements should be made against non-disclosure agreements.
Do to others as you would have others do to you or your loved ones.

Hopes and Dreams

Southdale Hennepin Library

Thursday, November 23, 2017

I overlook my book
wondering what others are reading
with a snap the spine cracks
and my nose drops between the pages

Sunlight turns
the white room green
a tall chair lowers
for shorter legs

Flat screens reflect dimly
brighter with a cloud overhead
a page hovers in an open book
a box of snow on pillars of white.

overview of the Southdale Hennepin Library in 1973

The Southdale Hennepin Library had 303,316 visits in 2016.

It's located at 7001 York Avenue South in Edina and is open from 9am to 9pm M-Th, 9am-5pm F-Sa, and Sundays from noon-5pm.

The library will be torn down in 2019 with a small corner library rebuilt in 2020 with housing, businesses, and a parking garage. Three possible plans were offered by the Edina Housing & Redevelopment Authority and Hennepin County. On November 15th, the Hennepin County Designer Selection Committee picked MSR (Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle) as the architectural firm for the new development (more information).

Southdale Library in Red with housing and businesses in blue

Southdale Library in Red with housing and businesses in blue

Southdale Library in Red with housing and businesses in blue

Music Association: Overture

Southdale Hennepin Library
In a Mirror, Darkly

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Once upon a time in a place called Uttar Predesh
a man named Shah Jahan built a majestic building to honor his third wife,
Mumtaz Mahal, who died after 30 hours of parturition.

To the north, across the Yamuna River, was another Taj Mahal
in black and upside down
only seen in the black marble reflecting pool, no longer there.

Southdale Hennepin Library 1973
Southdale Hennepin Library 2017 night

Music Associations: Rolling Stones - Paint It Black
& David Cassidy
1950-2017 - I'll Meet You Halfway

Southdale Hennepin Library
Library in the Sun
Sunday, November 19, 2017

Southdale Hennepin Area Library sunlit
Music Associations: The Beatles - Here Comes The Sun & Sheryl Crow - Soakin' Up The Sun

Hopes and Dreams

Box of Snow
November 17, 2017

Build a box of snow
on pillars of white
like Hobbes sees Calvin
fleeting imagination

building a Southdale Area Library -- a box of snow

Music Association: Aerosmith - Draw The Line

Southdale Hennepin Area Library in living color

Libristory (Library-History)
Video Library Back in the 1970s
Sequential Prime Day 11-13-17

Back in the 1970s, video was added to the new Southdale Hennepin Area Library.

In cooperation with the NFL, the library provided recordings of Minnesota Vikings games, repeating Sunday football on Wednesdays at 4pm and 7pm.

The 200 seat meeting room was used for movie nights. Exterior speakers and white exterior walls enabled drive-in styled movies (seasonally).

A 26 foot media desk included 14 stations for listening and viewing films, film strips, video cassettes, sound cassettes, cartridges, tapes, records, and television.

Melanie Currier and others watch video in 1973 at the Southdale Hennepin Area Library
Melanie Currier and others watch video in 1973 at the Southdale Hennepin Area Library (photo by John Croft)

A six channel copper loop enabled headset wearers to listen to programs while browsing the library, including listening to programs about President Nixon, who had more television exposure than the three previous presidents (Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson) combined.

Computer terminals were added in 1974.

And in March 1975, Will Steger repelled off the west side of the Southdale Hennepin Area Library, as part of a demonstration of mountain climbing techniques.

The library has been renovated several times since it opened in 1973 and still has the latest media equipment.

Music Associations: Young Rascals - Groovin' and Earth, Wind, & Fire - Let's Groove Tonight

Architectural Digest
Floating Box Architecture

November 6, 2017

Hennepin County Library - Southdale blueprint

How do you get a floating box from art, defective guns, and the Chicago fire?

It's all about steel.

Before steel, architecture was all about holding stones up, with arches, columns, and domes of stone and cement.

Steel had a long history but it was wrought iron: a material fine for patio furniture and trellises but not good as a building material. It wasn't great for guns either. Wrought iron steel was riddled with imperfections. Guns couldn't be mass produced because the steel was too unreliable. In 1856, Henry Bessemer patented the process of making Bessemer steel, a stronger, more malleable, less laborious metal. Gun production and reliability increased.

U.S. steel mills could roll out girders of steel, which built the Eads Bridge over the Mississippi River between St. Louis, Missouri and East St. Louis, Illinois in 1874. The bridge was the first all steel construction bridge, and it inspired some builders looking to rebuild Chicago after the 1871 fire.

Minneapolis architect Leroy Buffington patented the concept of a steel framed tall building in 1888, proposing a 28-story “stratosphere-scraper.” The architectural news ridiculed the idea, but it got the attention of William Le Baron Jenney. Jenney built the Home Insurance Building at Adams and LaSalle in Chicago, as the first steel framed skyscraper. The concept of a steel framed building concerned city officials, causing them to halt construction while they conducted a safety inspection.
Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye (1928-1931)
Steel framing solved weight and load problems. The Home Insurance Building was a third of the weight of a comparable stone building. Buildings could float. Architecture could get artistic.

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, was the sort of artist who was told to not be an artist, so he became an architect. Taking advantage of the advancements in steel framing, Le Corbusier wanted buildings to rest on stilts, appearing to float. Adding to the external airiness, the inside of the building would be free from supporting columns -- an open floor plan. And ribbon windows added to the lightness of the structures.

Villa Savoye became the most famous of Le Corbusier's works and an icon of modern architecture.

Introducing James Stageberg

Stageberg's the name, and architecture's the game,” James Stageberg would introduce himself... all the time.

James Stageberg (1925-2010) was an architect, University of Minnesota professor, lead architect, and architect-partner with Tom Hodne from 1968 to 1982 in Minneapolis' Dinkytown. He would doodle architectural sketches on the bus to work.

sketch of the Southdale Hennepin Area Library

James Stageberg designed the Southdale Hennepin Area Library as an homage to Le Corbusier and Villa Savoye, taken to a whole other level.

For architect fees of $152,234, Minnesota and the south Hennepin County area received a jewel on the librarian landscape. The snow white walls rose up on white stilts from the former gravel pit turned parking lot. Rows of rose-colored windows mirrored commercial Southdale on the outside, while the tinted glass protected the 120,000 volumes on the inside. Up on the roof top, a second tier roof protected centrally-located skylights, washing light over the hexagonal-ottomans in the second level reading area, with extra light pouring down the stairway to the first floor.

The pixellating, Seurat-like red-blue-navy carpet had an electric purple effect on the eyes.

Southdale Hennepin Area Library carpet 
Southdale Hennepin Area Library baseball-mitt chair
A huge leather-baseball-mitt chair was the best seat in the house.
Interior designer Paula Vesely decked the library with $234,682 furnishings & equipment, including $30,000 of audio-visual equipment money that provided “the most sophisticated range of audio-visual facilities and resources of any public library in the country.”

The brochure from the July 25, 1973 opening emphasizes “Southdale-Hennepin is not a research library.” (pdf)

Music Association: David Bowie - Modern Love

A Page Hovers in an Open Book

“A Page Hovers in an Open Book”
November 3, 2017

A page hovers in an open book
a window to another world
a rose-tinted mirror reflecting back
waiting to be uncurled

Pages nearby are read and unread
propped on arms or legs
in motion and never moving
easy and also easel

Books are easy to put down
like a loyal dog they will wait
at rest but never resting
a library waiting for your return.

Music Association:  Bob Seger - Turn The Page
“A Page Hovers in an Open Book” is © Copyright by the author of Hopes and Dreams, like all the rest of this stuff.

Hopes and Dreams

November 1, 2017

Hennepin County Library at Southdale

Music Association: Genesis - Throwing It All Away

Climate Solutions

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