Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar joined library officials today in Boyle Heights for a ribbon cutting outside the Benjamin Franklin Library.
The public library branch isn’t new, but the landscaping outside is - after a $140,000 renovation made possible with federal Community Reinvestment Act funds. The makeover includes new plants and olive trees, bike racks, and the removal of a bright orange fence Councilman Huizar said made the library look like a prison.
"The way we create our streetscape gives messages to people: is it welcoming or not? Should you come this way or not? And the message that this fence was giving to the community was 'stay out.' So I had it as a mission to take down the fence, tear down the wall, and give it a more welcoming atmosphere, and that’s what we did."
The renovation is complete just days before all public libraries in the city of Los Angeles move from a six-day schedule to five days because of city’s budget cuts. Huizar said he’d opposed those cuts.