Renewal of Cornish Library is being undertaken with great care to preserve the character of the building within its established historic neighbourhood, while addressing the community’s expressed desire for improved access and more usable spaces. The attached proposed rendering and drawings show an unchanged front of the heritage building, with an inviting glass reading room added to the rear, both overlooking the gardens and riverbank and providing an intriguing view from Sherbrook Street to the northwest.
Accessibility is addressed by re-grading the landscaping, and raising the sidewalk to create a level entrance, and through the addition of an elevator/lift and a universal toilet room on the main floor, both within the existing building footprint.
Almost 100 years ago, Cornish was constructed with the help of a grant from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie strongly believed that a public library must be free to all but in that era, the concept of universal access didn’t exist.
Cornish has a special place at the heart of the Armstrong’s Point community. Its history is treasured by area residents, who are proud of the role this facility played in shaping our city. Today, the people from the Point, West Broadway, and Wolseley neighbourhoods value the library for its programs, children’s facilities, and its always welcoming atmosphere.
Renovations are needed to ensure that everyone can access our library. In addition to an elevator and accessible washrooms, energy efficiency, fire safety, lighting, heat, and furniture will be upgraded. We will ALL be able to enjoy improved access to technology, resources, and better meeting space, better access to culture, the arts, and social support. Cornish will require approximately $2.5 million to renovate. The City of Winnipeg has committed to 50%, leaving $1.25 million needed.
Once renovations are complete, rejuvenated meeting spaces will continue to be available for community use and the entire library will be fully accessible. Key heritage components will be retained wherever possible. Our library belongs to ALL of us, regardless of age or ability.