Jun 17 2011

A Piedmont Place for You? A New Public Space in Piedmont!

For the first time in a very long time a new public space is being  created in Piedmont. Piedmont residents are invited to join the conversation about the best use of the unique, centrally located, public space in the east wing of 801 Magnolia, the former Christian Science Building.  (Comment below.)

While the west wing of 801 Magnolia has been leased to the Piedmont Center for the Arts, another large space exists in the east wing of the property.  The Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) Committee recently recommended that public input be solicited on the use of this rare, new public space.  Councilman Garret Keating wrote to PCA on June 8, raising the idea of a small library or reading room in the unleased east wing.  Keating asked, “Is there a Friends of Piedmont Library out there that could take this on?”  (Read full Keating comment.)

Residents recognize the lack of an attractive, comfortable public space in Piedmont.  At the same time, several senior programs are concerned their use of the Veterans Hall space will be terminated.   Creating “A Piedmont Place” in the east wing of 801 Magnolia could provide much needed small meeting space for local groups, offer a gathering place for residents, and accommodate varied interests of the Piedmont community.

The east wing space could open up the opportunity for residents to engage in literary forums, lectures, writing groups, book reviews and author readings, drop-in chess games, book groups, a book exchange, plus provide access to one or more online libraries.  Daily newspapers and donated magazines for perusing, “new favorite books” recommendations, and more could be available.  Residents could volunteer their talents, skills and time to provide some of the services that Piedmont, having no public library of its own, currently lacks.

Transforming the east wing of 801 Magnolia into a literary center for residents would mesh well with the musical, choral, and other cultural arts performances planned for the larger west wing auditorium.  Gatherings could be held in the east wing room before or after performances in the west wing. 

A Piedmont Place, filled with books in the room’s alcoves, comfortable seating and library tables and operated in a manner similar to the west wing, could afford flexible space to the entire Piedmont community.

A conceptual sketch of the type of space that might be created (not to scale)

If you are interested in helping create “A Piedmont Place,” please email editors@piedmontcivic.org to be put in touch with similar-minded residents who are developing the concept.  If you have ideas for additional or alternate uses for the east wing of 801 Magnolia, submit your suggestions via “Comments” on this webpage or email editors@piedmontcivic.org.

Interior of east wing of 801 Magnolia (currently used as City storage space)






One Response to “A Piedmont Place for You? A New Public Space in Piedmont!”

  1. I think it’s a fantastic idea—such a perfect fit with the Arts Center concept. My dream is that the entire building would be used all the time by as many Piedmonters as possible! Let the joy begin!

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