To the editor:
A couple of months ago David Holroyd wrote a letter suggesting that a new arts center building be located somewhere in the block bounded by Eighth and Ninth streets and New Hampshire and Rhode Island. His suggestion made excellent sense to me. He suggested ground level parking with an arts center built over the parking. Little of present parking would be lost. The question I wondered about was how to pay for additional parking construction, added to the arts center budget.
Within the past couple of weeks (LJW, 10-19-98) there is news that the parking board is talking about upgrading city-owned parking in the block Holroyd discussed. The parking board is reported as suggesting that more than $266,000 is needed. Since the parking board is already talking of the need to raise that money, this looks like a good time for some innovative thinking to work on these two issues together.
I think historic preservation demands that an art center expansion not be built around the old Carnegie Library. Can you imagine our courthouse with the judicial and law enforcement center attached onto and around it? An art center in the 800 block of New Hampshire may even be the stimulus needed to bring in appropriate business to complete the Winter block to the north. Meanwhile the Carnegie Library can continue to be a useful venue for a variety of community events, including arts events.