Corner Lot Survey Results

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.

Please complete the survey to participate. Here is the feedback we have received so far:

  • Hi, the little plot by the parking lot, could that hold a small space for a Teen Lab?  Would that be possible to build a little space for Teens?
  • A micro-amphitheatre, that doubles as a general seating area for public use, which would be landscaped appropriately, and act as an "entrance" to the UFL campus. Now, more than ever, our community needs its public dollars going into opportunity for arts and cultural engagement, in affordable and accessible ways, that can be utilized in more than one fashion. A seating are that was designed for small public author readings, would be a bold and valuable use for this corner space of the library.
  • One where we can walk through vertical water spouts. A large scale public chess tiles and pieces with benches and shade for sitting and kibitzing.
  • New archives lib
  • The City of Normal, IL has a wonderful water feature and green space in their downtown, so Urbana should ask them for advice since they've already been through the process. They fit their green space inside a traffic roundabout, but it is so well planned that it feels much larger. Thanks!
  • I believe much of the library's heat escapes to the out of doors. I know for a fact that the inside system for air exchange is inadequate; in the winter the 2nd floor is excessively hot, in the summer the 1st floor is excessively cold. Two recent scientific magazines suggest we shouldn't mow lawns because of the greenhouse gases emitted. What's the connection?  In a rapidly warming climate, energy issues are crucial. Perhaps the corner lot could be used for a geothermal heating and cooling system. While at it, the recent sculpture could buried. What justification is there for spending money on such a nonessential item in such serious times? What were you thinking? The library board needs to get its priority's straight. [Clarification from The Urbana Free Library: The RACES sculpture is on loan for two years as part of the Urbana Sculpture Project.]
  • Green space including benches and pollinator pockets.
  • I love the ideas submitted so far!  Building on those ideas:  Implement Mayor Marlin's idea to have an "URBANA" sculpture like "INDY" in Indianapolis, where people form the U - the library would be a perfect backdrop for photos, as it's a beloved community institution.  I am in favor of donating the right-of-way to the City as part of MCORE that is needed for buses to make smoother turns from Race St. to Green St.  Install benches and/or shade trees for people waiting for buses and as a place for people to read outside and gather.  A diagonal sidewalk through the property would allow bicyclists to exit from the bike lanes on Race St. and proposed on Green St. directly to the bike parking in Cherry Alley, instead of having to take a circuitous route through the library parking lot.  Perhaps use the west edge of the parcel to connect the parking lots on the north and south.  I also love the ideas about making this a community space, installing a splash pad, perhaps making the book fountain into a splash pad, installing chess and/or checkers tables, and maybe installing a little free library.  Thanks!
  • Hello.  I'd love to see a grove of native fruit trees.  Specifically the three "P's"... plum, persimmon, and pawpaw!  In addition to being part of our native landscape, they teach about indigenous horticulture and local food systems.  And! they require no chemical inputs (ie pesticide, fertilizer) so they're organic by default.
  • More parking, especially handicapped accessible space, is needed.  I have had to turn and check to see if there were any accessible available at the Champaign Library on too many occasions.   I must have an alley available on the driver's side and I really don't like that space when it is the drive.
  • What are your ideas for the vacant, corner lot at 202 West Green Street?
    SAFE space (traffic etc)  for kids to have garden ?  a place to "learn"
    something   - but worry about theft of "things" and/or vandalism.....

    more parking .....  yuk....

  • It would be wonderful to have it planted with trees and flowers and create space that could be used by UFL as well as the community in general. Shaded seating and tables could be on the inside of the lot with privacy from the street by plantings. It might be a new space for some UFL programming. It would also be lovely to have art installed in the space as well. Thanks for asking.
  • I like the library’s little cafe. Expanding on that, it would be neat if there was room on that corner lot to move the cafe there into a new building. This was my dream when that old building was on the corner. Building something new is probably too expensive!!
  • I’d  love to see a garden with a circle path and lots of benches around the circle for reading and an interesting sculpture in the middle. Or, a community garden. Or a playground. Something that gets people to gather in the space.
  • A little more parking might be nice. But also think about a small play structure.
  • A sculpture or statue would very nice. Could be a rotating piece of public art, perhaps somehow included with Meadowbrook's sculptures. It would make Urbana more distinctive -- the downtown has no single iconic landmark. A photo-op would be fun, like how the Virginia has the statue of Roger Ebert – at Ebertfest many people take photos of themselves and friends with it, and share the photos. Maybe 3-4 large chess sets with fantasy pieces, so people could play each other, and have mini-tournaments. Something more than just benches and trees (which are always wonderful). Not more parking. I think the giant EMPTY parking of the would-be hotel across the street should be reclaimed by the city and turned into library/downtown parking. The current UFL parking is too crowded, for sure, but would a corner parking lot really work there? You'd have to have to more in/out paths, which would use up a lot of the space. People can cross one street for parking. Really.
  • A green space with trees, gardens, and comfortable seating where people can read books.
  • I would like to see a lot of that lot devoted to green space.  I would prefer zero plantings of crabapple trees.  I think there is space for a couple, two, trees that will grow to be large shade trees.  They can shade the bus stop on hot summer afternoons and eventually shade that big open intersection of Green and Race.  There are almost no trees of any size downtown.  Here is room for a couple.  Plant them out toward the Green St. end of the property. If the library needs to put a building here in 50 years, cut them down.  If there is also a seating area, it's more likely to be used in the summer if it's shady.  And, I recommend that the most likely poor "soil" where the trees could be planted be dug out and replaced by decent black soil that will promote the growth of a healthy, long lived tree.  I'll be glad to pay for the trees, digging and new soil.  I paid a decent amount toward to the purchase of this lot and I'm willing to invest more in it. 
  • Its wonderful that we have the opportunity to have citizen input on the use of the corner lot. I would love to see a good landscape plan, and would be willing to help choose plants and help with a design. I am a long time Urbana gardener and will contact 2 or 3 other close friends who are also gardeners to get their input. Together we are experts on trees and shrubs which should form the bones of any good landscape plan.  Hope to keep in touch. 
  • I would go with additional parking or creating some form of green area which accentuates the current library plant lift.
  • So happy the lot was purchased by the library. Some sort of reading park / benches would be good. **The library building is so beautiful that there should not be any major structures on the corner to obstruct the view**, just a park: maybe a few benches, a fountain and/or statue, and some shade.
  • keeping the area open would be great. it is nice to see the library from the east. adding a few more parking spaces would probably be a good idea. BUT i also think that creating a park with a few native trees for shade and native plants for pollinators [of course], as well as some simple shelter with seating and/or benches and tables, would provide a nice, restful area for those who are waiting for a bus or for those who want to read while enjoying the fresh air. the space could become part of some of the events held in downtown.
  • Playground, indoor playground like leonhard ctr, cafe/sandwich shop, community garden-any of these would be awesome.
  • Mayor Marlin wrote this on Director Choate's Facebook page "If they can put the "I" in Indy, we could put the "U" in "Urbana"! Celeste Choate library corner!?" (see
  • After reading the info on MCORE 5, to sell part of the lot to the city seems like a good idea. Turn the rest of the area into parking, really. I've come during the weekends and the lot is full.
  • I know it's boring, but more parking would be useful. Thank you. I'd like it to have trees in the middle and a bench.
  • Garden with seating.
  • Community garden, where people could rent a small area to grow what they want. Maybe some shared tools and a shed could be provided by the library for everyone to use. (Cost covered by rental fees).
  • My hope would be that it remain a green space. Trees, benches and a winding sidewalk would be refreshing. Maybe a fountain and/or a water fountain.
  • If possible, it would be great to keep some green space there. The view of the library and the open feeling is excellent now. No doubt a good planner could make it easier to get in and out of the parkign spaces beside our artistic alley and make them flow with the ones just to their south. UFL is the best!
  • A two-story building, it could be used as a Teen Department, or Archive Department (Not for Children, too close to the streets and parking lots).
  • Parking; community garden; fitness course; outdoor maker space.
  • An amphitheater for lounging and for occasional programming.
  • A giant book statue that can be climbed on and pollinator garden surrounding it with bench seating.
  • A small fountain that kids could play in like at Hessel Park in Champaign.
  • Garden with benches and bird houses a few pieces of play equipment.
  • Book fountain!!
  • Chess tables like the chess pavilion in Chicago with a set of pieces available for check out. Other games like hopscotch or chalk area. Selfie encouraging sculpture (free publicity!) like authors or favorite book characters.