I am totally blown away by this story.
Whether you agree with them or not, you've likely stepped foot in a WalMart, KMart, or Target store at some point. The so-called "Super Stores" have changed the face of American retail (probably) indelibly. But what happens when they fold?
These MASSIVE spaces aren't your typical corner market for lease... they're landscape-commanding monsters ranging from 51,000-224,00sf. To give you some perspective, a football field is between 48,000-57,000. Who else can possibly utilize a structure like that in a typical suburban or semi-rural setting? The planning department in McAllen, Texas has answered this question in a simple, and brilliantly forward-thinking way. LIBRARIES!
The transformation of this space is nothing short of visionary.
I can't tell you how much I love the concept of replacing over-consumption with education. It actually makes me a little bit teary to imagine the progress that this kind of change can inspire. The space recently won the 2012 Library Interior Design Award. Designed by Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. (the interior) and Boultinghouse Simpson Architects (the exterior), the library is located inside a 124,500 square foot former WalMart store- making it the largest single-story library in the U.S. It includes a computer lab, study rooms, study areas for children, teens, and adults, a cafe, an auditorium, a genealogy research area, and more. Library-goers are loving the new design- registration has increased 23% since the revamp earlier this year. Bravo, Texas!