Viewpoint - August 31, 2011

Letter: Protect Atherton's historic library building

Having followed the discussion about expanding the Atherton Library, the review of the plans scheduled at Holbrook-Palmer Park on Sept. 8 is well advised.

I have used the library often and find it a charming and quiet place to browse and to order books from the San Mateo County system. The Atherton Library building is a landmark and deserves preservation, regardless of how the plans for the library develop.

The Spanish colonial revival architecture is classic, and buildings like it, such as the Palo Alto post office, need to reflect that historic period that identifies the city with similar architecture at Stanford. The building would serve well for the meeting space being called for by the Atherton Arts Council and the Heritage Society.

Holbrook-Palmer Park, along with other departments of the city, have seen significant staff reductions due to the deficit in the city's operating budget. The building fund anticipated for the new library, and used specifically for its construction, would appear as a callous action after such a wide-sweeping loss of jobs. There should be some way of using the library funds to defray the budget shortfall, and still expand the existing library, while keeping the beautiful architecture intact in its present location.

James White, Atherton


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