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T. Wall Properties Proposes New Madison Central Library Project
Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Madison Central Library

201 W. Mifflin St., Madison, WI




Benefits of Mixed-Use

T. Wall Properties, in collaboration with Plunkett Raysich Architects and Miron Construction, is proposing a world class, state-of-the-art facility to house the new Madison Central Library. For over nine months, our team has been designing and value-engineering this project to deliver a civic building that will be a point of pride in the community. Using the existing site, the new Central Library building will enhance the City’s investment in the Overture Center and reactivate the neighborhood. 


The mixed-use nature of this design will provide numerous indispensible benefits to the Madison Central Library. The scale of the larger building, which will appear to be exclusively occupied by the Central Library, makes dramatic architectural statements possible. Libraries around the world have found that co-locating with other uses results in significantly increased traffic and circulation.  One study conducted in Great Britain found that libraries located in mixed-use settings experience as much as a 30% increase in circulation and double the foot traffic. Retail uses on the first floor will play a significant role in generating this traffic and activating the streetscape. In addition, the Central Library will have the opportunity to open a Library Store offering a wide variety of products to patrons and providing a revenue stream to the Madison Library System. 


Unifying the Neighborhood

The Central Library’s exclusive main entrance is located at the corner of West Mifflin Street and Fairchild Street in a soaring oval rotunda. This space is envisioned as a stunning multi-story venue for Library events and public art exhibits, establishing the Central Library as a leading civic function in the region. This gallery space will offer unparalleled fundraising opportunities for the Central Library.  Not only will they have the opportunity to host internal events in this impressive area, but the Library could rent the venue out for private functions. 


A portal is located on floors six through eight of the building, which as envisioned as a “Park in the Sky”. This unique feature will include plantings, decorative paving, a variety of seating options, and a focal point sculpture to provide office workers and Library patrons a convenient place to relax overlooking the Overture Center. With proper lighting, this portal will offer patrons of the Overture Center a unique focal point and garner more interest in the Central Library.

The T. Wall Properties design team was careful to incorporate features that complement current City landmarks, while maintaining the Central Library building as a distinct and impressive structure. The principal materials included in this design include glass, stone-like cladding, and a building crown which complement the Overture Center and the State Capitol. In addition, the design has been engineered to allow for a future skywalk linking the Central Library to the Overture Center. If the City decides to construct this feature, a physical link and synergy would be created between the literary and performing arts. 


The graphic screening, public gallery spaces, variety of outstanding signage opportunities, and inspiring design included this concept will activate street life and provide the Central Library with the ability to better reach out to, communicate with, and serve the neighborhood and the region.

Click the "News" icon above to view additional renderings of the project.

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