On Monday, February 3, the Central Branch of Windsor Public Library will open in the Paul Martin Building (PMB) at 185 Ouellette Avenue. Concurrently, the 850 Ouellette library location will close to allow staff to de-commission the building, pending the completion of the sale to the Downtown Mission at the end of the month.
Windsor Public Library will occupy two floors of the Paul Martin annex. The first floor will house the public library and the second will contain administration offices and auxiliary services. Hours of operation will remain the same: 9 am-9 pm Monday through Thursday, 9 am- 5 pm. on Friday and Saturday and 1 pm to 5 pm on Sunday.
“The 185 Ouellette site is in a prime location close to bus and bicycle routes with plenty of parking available in the area and convenient to St. Clair College and University of Windsor students,” says WPL CEO Kitty Pope. “Materials and resources not making the move to the new location have been distributed to other library branches. Library staff has worked hard to ensure 185 Ouellette is a welcoming public library space.”
The PMB annex was completed in 1959 and complements the Art Deco Paul Martin Building that opened in 1932. Previous occupants include Canada Post, the Canada Revenue Agency, the Canada Border Services Agency and various other federal departments.
Renovations to the PMB cost approximately $1.77 million to create the 11,000 square-foot library space and the accompanying library offices on the second floor.
In 2018, the Windsor Public Library Board approved the new Central Library Functional Plan that staff and architects began in 2016. The two-phase initiative captures the vision for a new central library and includes costing estimates and the results of external community consultations. The Plan provides a road map for the WPL Board and City Council to follow and move forward to build a new Central Library in the downtown core.
This week’s Throwback Thursday image is the final photo (ABOVE) of our construction series on the Paul Martin Building (Dominion Public Building). This photograph was taken June 3, 1933 at the corner of Ouellette Avenue and Chatham Street looking northwest when the building was nearing completion. At the bottom of the photograph you can see a Sandwich, Windsor and Amherstburg streetcar heading south on Ouellette. Open to the public in 1933, the building housed various federal government departments and the post office.