Boyle Heights library to come out from behind bars

The metal fence encircling the Franklin Library in Boyle Heights is coming down, part of $175,0000 worth of improvements to the facility at First and Chicago streets. “I have long thought that the library’s large, fortress-like fence sent the wrong message to our community,” said Councilman Jose Huizar in a statement issued as part of a ground breaking on Wednesday. Huizar noted that the fence looked out of place in what has been dubbed the Boyle Heights Civic Center, with the library, the newly finished and unfenced Hollenbeck police station and the quake damaged Chicago building (a city facility awaiting repair) all anchoring corners of the same intersection.

But what’s going to protect the library from taggers, vandals and drug users that lead the fence to be erected in the first place? Council District spokesman Rick Coca said that the opening of the new police station across the street should help ward off vandals. The police, he said, have assured the council office “that they are going to patrol to keep it safe and accessible.”

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Photo from Council District 14

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