Last year, the International Interior Design Association handed out the 2012 award for best Library Design to a 124,500-square-foot public library in McAllen, Texas. The Massive library is notable as it is the largest single-floor library in America. Also, the library building used to be a Wal-Mart!
The pictures of the building make it hard to believe that this chic, modern library used to be a Wal-Mart super center, but after generous donations and work by Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, the former Wal-Mart is now America’s largest library.
In this picture, you can see the overhead lights and metal casing that are Wal-Mart staples. In most areas, however, the ceiling – and everything else – has received a complete renovation and now looks nothing like a Wal-Mart. The Texas library includes private meeting spaces, study rooms, 64 computer stations, child sections, an art gallery, a café, and everything else one could want in a library. I can only hope they placed the Twilight series in the place the Wal-Mart used to actually sell their books.
Everyone has heard horror stories regarding Wal-Marts that move into town, but few people realize the problems that arise when Wal-Mart moves out. Across America, hundreds of massive ex-Wal-Mart buildings remain as tumors upon downtown and shopping districts. These abandoned Wal-Mart buildings are too big – and too ugly – to house other stores, so the buildings are left to rot for years.
In the case of this wonderful ex-Wal-Mart library in Texas, a former Wal-Mart has been reformed into a public center that serves the community.