What’s missing? Pt. 2


FireShot Capture 66 - The Library Whisperer_ Can Architect F_ - http___curbed.com_archives_2015_12


That’s an easy one.

Notice how the people in this prestigious architectural rendering are all White, and that there’s no one sitting there who looks to be over the apparent calendar age of about 31 or so?

Fortunately, this particular NYPL scheme bit the dust last year, but that was only because of the radical activism of thousands of NY book lovers and international authors and critics. They didn’t want their storied Fifth Avenue facility turned into another boutique project for world-famous architects.

But the menace remains. Nothing’s assured in New York, and there are people in Burbank who’d love to dumb-down our own Central Branch and turn it into a “non-elitist” community center. It’s going on right now, this planning and scheming effort. And it’s one big reason why Scott chose his pick for Burbank’s new head librarian. She’s a dreamer they say.

Btw, that’s also what the movers and shakers said about the NYPL project above. The original building and its contents were just so elitist and small minded you know. So let’s make it for everyone. Which means getting rid of lots of books to make room for whatever new is in style. That’s what finally galvanized the critics to fight back; and sadly, this technocratic/bureaucratic impulse to want to ruin things is found everywhere.

Notice no one ever says this about public sports arenas or playing fields? You never hear anyone say, “Hey, let’s let people maybe plant something nice and sustainable in there…

“Get rid of a couple of those baseball diamonds and practice courts and put in kale instead.”

How come it’s the libraries they always want to gut?







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24 responses to “What’s missing? Pt. 2

  1. Stan

    Bad move on the plant kale comment Semichorus because we have those sustainability folks and their cheerleader squad who just might push to turn our parks into community gardens. I would not be surprised and hey they might push to turn the libraries into giant greenhouses to grow asparagus.

  2. 91506

    Take a look at this news story. Bikers deface signs at Miramar Marina Corp Air Station and then ride all over the place. Well they all got cited and they all had their bikes confiscated. No bike riders like with everything else there are restrictions as to where you can and can not ride despite your theory that you have a right to go anyplace you desire.


    • semichorus

      Yes, the Burbank Rancho Neighborhood Air Base and Security Facility.

      You do see the ridiculousness of your analogy, don’t you?

  3. Sharon

    Can’t we just find a better use for the space taken up by libraries ? I mean we are now a more enlightened and more sustainable community. I would suggest that we ask the Burbank Sustainable Commission fort their studious and reflective consideration of how these spaces could become more community oriented and more contributing to our overall sustainable goals. Libraries are monolithic spaces that remain as a tribute to a less enlightened era in our communities history. They should be beautifully transformed into enlightened gathering places for the community to gather, share and further the best practices of sustainability.

  4. Nev

    As we put in place community gardens I have often thought that athletic fields would certainly make for great zen reflective garden areas where wholistic exercise would be possible as opposed to violent and aggressive sports which cause and enforce a bully mentality and bolster bully behavior.

    • semichorus

      I agree. I’d love to see this athletic “Look at our teams!” crap disappear.

      There’s a certain element in Burbank that’s always been perversely weird about sports and team activities. We used to consider it an obvious joke — and it was also very much a Flatland thing, not Hill.

      When I was growing up in Burbank the Hill was into books, art, and music. Very much the Jewish/Ben Mar Hills influence of the era.

      • Yes!

        Athletics fosters aggresive bully behavior. As a more enlightened community we should transform these areas into fresh flowers and cool benches with bike paths and walking paths so that we can become a non aggressive and considerate community that embraces wholesome values. Burbank is slowly being transformed into a more enlightened community however we should speed up this process which is the goal of enlightened members of the community like those on the Sustainability Commission.

        • Mom

          Leave the horses alone and leave the libraries alone and leave the athletic teams alone. Next these crazy people will want to have book burnings in the street. Just stop trying to make everything “green” I am so tired of you bike riding , electric vehicle loving crazy people trying to tell everyone what to do. Just do your thing and allow others to do theirs .

      • Scott

        Yeah put an end to soccer and football.

  5. Jack

    Sure, like Sharon Springer wanting to SELL naming rights to streets.
    Check what the bike paths cost along flood control channels next to the Golden State Freeway.
    Where did that money come from?
    Where does the “sustainable” funding come from?
    “Trees, Flowers & Chirping Birds” and please don’t argue about the birds shitting on the trees and flowers.

    • Skip

      Well the cost of the bike paths really does not matter when the benefits so outweigh the costs. Urban design is costly however they are always worth paying a bit more in taxes to achieve. The bike paths encourage a healthier community and we all should be willing to pay added taxes to achieve that end.

      • Jack

        Please don’t “skip it”. Tell us all about where the $$ come from.
        Tell us all about the actual basis of the collection of those funds.
        Advise the readers of the “purpose” of the “levy” to accumulate the funds you believe should be expended along flood control channels and for bridges for bicycles and their riders.

  6. R.

    To me what with the internet information highway libraries are just a big waste of money. Who use them anymore anyway ? Why not just make sure everyone has a computer and forget about libraries and the cost of maintaining them.

  7. A. Woodser

    In a way it’s like the old Smails thing that Burbank people hated and always laughed about. I’m old town Burbank and know a thing or two about the way it was so maybe some folks should be listening because I watched city council meetings in 1970s and 1980s. The library is just another example of how bad it is and don’t think the same is to be true for the media area that was supposed t be a sell out way back when and don’t laugh but I go back a long way too like downtown HA!. If you want proof, just answer this, why did Dan Remy knew it was all going to happen and said so a long time ago look at the proof before he died. But the people of today don’t even know it in Burbank because it’s a joke now and not because of Dan Remy because he tried and many knew that many years ago.

    • semichorus

      Dan was a trip. Those guys — as conniving as they were at times — were total straight-shooters as compared to what we have today. If they wanted something they threatened it over and over again.

      Many people predicted that a backlash would occur in response to all this small time over-development. But 30 years ago Burbank decided to go the expedient route, and look where it got us. They were warned about the future market they were going to attract.

  8. chad

    I would love to hear more about Mr. Remy’s predictions and warnings.

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