The Urbana Free Library welcomes your ideas for the vacant lot at 202 West Green Street, at the northwest corner of Green Street and Race Street.
Thanks to the generosity of our community, The Urbana Free Library Foundation purchased 202 West Green Street for the Library on June 30, 2017. The Library would love to collect your ideas for the lot and share them with the community. When you submit your ideas using the survey, we will post them on the Library's website so everyone can see them.
One thing to consider is the MCORE Project 5. Construction was planned to occur in 2019 to enhance Green Street from Busey Avenue to Race Street, but this has been moved back to 2020. MCORE Project 5 will be a factor in when, and what happens on the corner lot. One long-term impact is that some of the southeast corner of the lot will be sold to the city in order to create a better turn radius for buses and other large vehicles. Other impacts – temporary or permanent – will become clearer once the MCORE design process begins.
From fall 2018 through fall 2020, the RACES sculpture by Bobby Joe Scribner will be sited at the corner as part of the Urbana Sculpture Project. RACES was generously sponsored by the Urbana Public Arts Program. The Urbana Free Library Foundation, which has pledged funds for landscaping around RACES in spring 2019. The Urbana Sculpture Project is made possible by Urbana Public Arts Program and Commission, the Public Art League, City of Urbana Public Works Department, Champaign County, and generous sponsors who help create a more vibrant city through creativity and artistic innovation.
All that being said, come dream with us! What would you like to see in the corner? Please indicate whether your ideas are for before MCORE Project 5 begins, and ideas for after MCORE Project 5 is complete in 2019.
Thank you for sharing our excitement in this wonderful addition to the Library block!
Urbana Free Library Foundation Purchases Corner Lot
Thank You, Urbana!
Published on Jun 21, 2017: The Urbana Free Library Foundation President Robert Switzer thanks the community for their generous support to acquire land located at the corner of the Library lot.
Urbana Free Library Foundation Purchasing Corner Lot, Plans Landscaped Entryway
June 2, 2017: Contact Robert Switzer, president of the Urbana Free Library Foundation board, at 344-4682, if you have any questions.
The Urbana Free Library will gain a landscaped south entryway as a result of the purchase of a vacant lot at Race and Green streets in downtown Urbana.
A purchase agreement for $115,000 was signed in May by representatives of Persistence of Illinois, the owners, and the Urbana Free Library Foundation, one of the Library’s charitable fund-raising arms. Closing is set for June 30. The deed will go directly to the Library.
The entire purchase price is covered by citizen donations to the Foundation. A November annual fund drive letter specifically asked for donations to pay for purchasing the lot.
"Making this vacant lot into a beautiful, landscaped entryway to the library is something I and lot of other Urbana residents have wanted to see for a long time," Mayor Diane Marlin said. "Now it's going to happen, thanks to the generosity of residents and hard work of the Foundation.
“It shows you what we can achieve in Urbana if we work together,” she said.
The lot at 202 W. Green St. was the site of the former Auler Law Office building, which was demolished in 2015, opening up a full view from the street of the historic library building. The Library was designed by architect Joseph Royer and will be 100 years old next summer.
"When the Auler Building was razed, an opportunity was provided for a beautiful improvement of the Library's south entrance and of a prominent corner of downtown Urbana,” said Foundation President Bob Switzer. “Citizens urged the Library Foundation to buy the lot and provided strong and generous support to do it,”
Library Board President Chris Scherer said: “We are so pleased to announce this expansion of the Library campus. We are most grateful to the individuals who have contributed or who plan to give to this Library enhancement project.”
The Library Foundation plans a fund-raising drive for the landscaping and other Library needs. Donations can be made online at http://urbanafreelibrary.org/support-us/donate-now, in person, or mailed to the Library.
June 7, 2017: Urbana Library buys lot for entrance upgrade