Wednesday 17 January 2018

From 'blight' to 'alright', Dun Laoghaire locals pass verdict on new €36.6m local library


It was once described as a 'monstrosity' and is still dividing locals in Dun Laoghaire, but the Lexicon library started a new chapter last night.

The controversial €36.6m library which also hosts a gallery, a coffee shop and a 100-seat performance space over four floors, held its official opening last night.

Last year, there was substantial backlash to the scale and cost of the library which dominates the seafront.

Peter Kerrigan, of the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Ratepayers Association, said that local animosity to the building does not seem to have dissipated since it opened its doors to the public in December.

The official opening last night was a "black day" for the south Dublin town, he said.

The Lexicon building is "a blight on the landscape" the businessman told the Herald and added that the building should have been designed to blend in better with the other seafront buildings.

"The most disappointing thing is that the old Carniege building is now just another derelict building in the town and we have heard no plans about what is going to happen with it next."

The council has yet to make a decision on the future use of Carniege building, but it will remain in public ownership and will have to be used as a community facility.

However, despite some small amount of disapproval, locals can't help but be impressed by the Lexicon.

The building sits in Moran Park, which was extensively renovated and can now be used for outdoor events and exhibits.

Local Fine Gael councillor Patricia Stewart said that since the library has been opened people's minds have been changed about the building.

"I wouldn't even say the tide has turned. I think there has been a tsunami of approval locally," she told the Herald.

"There was huge resistance in the beginning and many people thought it would be an intrusion, but now they appreciate what it is doing for the community."

A spokesperson for DLR county council said that the figures speak for themselves when evaluating the success of the new library.

"There have been 4,500 new memberships since we opened in December and visitor numbers are at about 10,000 per week," he said.

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