Ocean Beach Library Expansion Deserves More Thought

by on November 19, 2021 · 2 comments

in San Diego

Great design isn’t done quickly or cheaply

By Roger Showley / November 18, 2021

Regarding the U-T article about the Ocean Beach Library expansion moves ahead; some want more input” (Nov. 14):

I grew up with the Ocean Beach Library as my branch. To a child it was a place of wonder and inspiration. I find the proposed addition to be a thoughtless, design-challenged and placeless project.

The staff believe an in-house plan will save time and $400,000 in outside architectural fees. But judging by recent city projects, like the Balboa Park West Mesa restrooms, expedited design results in Onions not Orchids.

This approach represents another example for the urgent need to return design review to parks, libraries and other public projects. The city’s libraries have won numerous awards for the previous approach to tailored, passionate architectural planning.

Build this annex and the city will learn once again that speed and thrift do not advance excellence in our built environment. This is no way to demonstrate San Diego is a World Design Capital.

Roger Showley, PLHS Class of 1966, was the San Diego Union-Tribune architectural writer for years. The above was printed recently in Letters at the U-T.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

busybody November 19, 2021 at 7:05 pm

I couldn’t agree more. The inside design looks ok (could use more computers) and seems to be thoughtfully put together, but the outside? Big, ugly box! Waste of energy! We need a feedback meeting. The library people need to understand we care about our community. Can you imagine if they’d built this ugly addition in Mission Hills? People would have been repulsed. Their library architecture fits so well into the community. We want that fit here in OB.


Frank November 23, 2021 at 5:55 am

The Mission Hills and Point Loma libraries were funded in a large part by private donations. If you want some control over the design, find a wealthy OB patron willing to kick in some cash.


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