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There was a challenge at Neighbourhood 99. The question was - reading... where did you like to read as a child?
Well, school wasn't my favourite place. Nor would you ever find me sitting in a tree, for various reasons. But I DID read a lot, and really enjoyed my weekly visits to the town's Central Lending Library.
I couldn't find a picture of it as it existed THEN - some decades ago <grin> but I did find a couple of photos of it as it is today.
And, like many of my Lots, since I have Open For Business, I like to have the owners of Community Lots actually living there, this will have the upper floors converted to an apartment for the Head Librarian and Curator of the Art Gallery (not a rentable apartment, sorry, those do not combine with Home Businesses - just a live-in business).
This picture of the exterior I have shows the Art Gallery with very few windows, so I'm giving it a glass roof instead. The gallery always had a great many very large sculptures by artists such as Henry Moore, so this feels appropriate and gives room for large Sims sculptures or whatever takes your fancy.
I'm only using Maxis objects, and it's made with all EPs and most of the Stuff Packs, including Mansion and Gardens, Open For Business of course, Seasons for the glass roof and Nightlife for the driveway.
I had to use the allow highest level cheat, but there are no other cheats used in this house.
I had to pretty much rebuild from scratch several times.
Under construction. It's made on a very large Lot. I think it may work as a neighbourhood decoration if your computer cannot run it as playable, like my Cathedral.
In those days the exterior was uniformly black - the whole of the city centre was covered with soot and most of the municipal buildings were black all over. Since then it has all been sandblasted and looks much nicer, though less dramatic. (I did think about making some soot-black walls but these look far nicer, and of course SimCity is also a Clean Air Zone).
You can see the roof structure in the picture above. There is a residual, very tall, Victorian chimney stack between the Library and the Art Gallery, but the fireplaces have been little used since the town became a Smokeless Zone. It looks to me as if originally it was three old merchant's houses, with the right-hand one later being gutted and replaced with the new Art Gallery. I used some artistic licence here as I haven't been inside the RL Art Gallery.
You would enter the library through what was originally the basement door, across this little street, and there were large staircases with gleaming brass rails. (Nowadays there must be a wheelchair-access door down there, so I put one in.)
The part of the Library where I felt most comfortable was the Science and Technology Library, on the ground floor. It smelled of old books, floor polish and was a little dark, but had individual tables between the bookshelves so one could sit quietly and read. This picture shows one of the quiet reading areas.
Floor overviews: Ground Floor
The Library itself is mostly furnished, and in my Sims version, it has a small refreshments area, and several reading areas. There are lifts and steps up to all floors.
There are toilets on the first floor, a computer room and a large room available for meetings, functions, lectures, chess tournaments or more reading areas.
There is a large and pleasant conference room on the second floor, and (currently empty) space for an apartment for the Art Curator, or extra room for the Librarian if her family grows.
Open For Business allows the locking of doors so that visitors can be kept out of the Librarian's home if required.
On the third floor is the apartment for the Chief Librarian, with two large bedrooms, kitchen/diner and large bathroom, as well as sitting room. A few shots of the apartment follow... some of the decor was changed after the shot above was taken but the overall layout is the same.
I would envisage the basement being used for storage of the County Reserve books.
Art Gallery Entrance.
Looking down from the gallery of the Art Gallery at the central display.
Out at the front of the building is a short road, for deliveries, and access to the rear of the building. The paved area has a water feature and acts as a plaza for "meeting and greeting" and often performance art.
The original is right in the centre of a large and busy town. This might fit well in a Downtown area of your Sim city.
Anyway, I spent many happy hours of my adolescence here, reading about all kinds of wondrous things, in peace, quiet and the cool, oak-scented buzz of the library.
If you want to download it, furnished, it's a large download...
Cost to your Sims: §415,224