We love libraries, although many are closed right now. Still, Denver’s library officials are planning for the future, at some point.

Seems that every neighborhood should have a library. During a meeting last week with members of a city council committee learned that branch libraries are needed in RiverNorth (better known as RiNo), Globeville, and Westwood. (The photo above was posted on Denverite today, taken by Kevin J. Beaty.)

But with a combination of the RiNo Art District and the Denver Public Library, working with Parks and Recreation, other groups can share the 7,000-square-foot building being remade out of a former police building. The Art Park will be part of the picture, too, and tenants will include Focal Point and a spin-off from RedLine Contemporary Art Space. 

As noted in the meeting schedule last week, the members of the Safety, Housing, Education & Homelessness Committee discussed this, and sent it off to the full city council for discussion: “Approves a contract with the RiNo Art District for $1,800,000 and through 6-29-31 for the management of the City-owned building located at 1930 35th Street for the operation of a public library in Council District 9.” 

The story Monday in The Denver Post carried this headline and a sub-headline:

“New library proposed for Denver’s RiNo Art District pits haves vs. have nots / Globeville-Elyria-Swansea residents say Denver’s 27th library branch would ignore their dire needs”. 


Well, one might think that the Globeville-Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods have been set adrift so many years with so much I-70 construction, needs to remind the people of Denver that should know what happened decades ago when I-70 was built. It sliced up the city with an interstate that still has reverberations. 

“Places like Globeville-Elyria-Swansea, they want their own separate identity, they don’t really want to integrate into RiNo,” said Drew Dutcher, president of the Elyria and Swansea Neighborhood Association. “I don’t know if this new library can be expected to serve too much beyond RiNo’s demographics.”

Tracy Weil, RiNo Art District Executive Director, was one of the two people who created the RiNo Art District many years ago. Things have changed, though. With fewer galleries, but a lot of more murals, and a cleaned-up Brighton Boulevard mainly sports apartment buildings and commercial buildings – more beer than art, as some like to say. In the Post story, Weil said: “You can’t have an art district without artists.”

Today, Denverite posted a story about this new hybrid library, with more information. The story noted that “the Comal Heritage Food Incubator in the TAXI development in RiNo, will also host business programs at the library, and the Denver Zine Library is also interested in using space there.”

As for those books? Who knows, except the people of those neighborhoods want their own library. This will need a lot more money – which the city does not have.

On another thought: Colorado Politics yesterday posted a series of stories about the construction woes of those who live in the area around the I-70 changes in their neighborhoods. The stories include the current conditions, along with the history of I-70, and the health problems because of the construction. 

The links below lead to DenveriteThe Denver Post, and Colorado Politics



Denver’s Central 70 project: Digging in troubled ground

Denver I-70 construction problems lead to extra $100 to $150 million cost

Video: Central 70 project is troubling residents

In two Colorado neighborhoods, even life expectancy is much diminished

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