The Reading Park at Downtown’s Central Library is officially underway. Crews are busy busting up some concrete, adding walking paths, creating placemaking elements, and turning a typically dead Buffalo corner into an urbanist’s dream. Once complete, there will be public art, a stage for a range of performances, green space, a poetry garden, and a variety of other functional amenities.
Along with the addition of the Reading Park, the library grounds are getting some significant updates, including brand new LED lighting that will uplight the facade of the building. The LEDs will be color controlled, and will create a dramatic focal point on the library campus.
The grounds are also benefitting from plantings that attract the pollinators – butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.
Anne Conable, the Manager of Community Engagement at Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, told me that the Reading Park will be opening at the end of July, which is right around the corner. Once finished, the corner of Broadway and Washington will be a beehive of activity, which is exactly what this downtown destination needs.
In 2017, it was announced that the Downtown Public Library would soon be home to an outdoor Reading Park, thanks to funding from the national Southwest Airlines® Heart of the Community program, as well as planning/design support from Project for Public Spaces. Since the time of the announcement, The Library has been working with various community groups (including students from the University at Buffalo School of Architecture & Planning) to flesh out the design details, and the way that visitors will interact with the park.