North Beach library could be preserved 

It’s only appropriate that library connoisseurs would be at a historic preservation commission meeting on their extended lunch breaks.

At a packed lunchtime meeting that lasted for hours into the afternoon Wednesday, several of them weighed in on whether seven post World War II libraries in The City – and specifically the North Beach branch -- should be preserved.

The North Beach branch is of particular concern because it is the only one in the group that hasn’t either finished reconstruction or started reconstruction under major plans to renovate 16 library facilities in The City.

The commission voted 5-2 to start the process of preserving five of the seven libraries under discussion, including the North Beach branch.

The commission’s decision prevents the North Beach library project from getting construction permits from the Planning Commission for the next 180 days or until another decision is made.

The Marina, Ortega, Eureka and Western Addition branches are already finished with construction, but the commission decided they could still be preserved.

The Parkside and Merced branches are already under construction and starting the process for preservation would mess up their timelines, so the commission will reconsider after they’re renovated.

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Kamala Kelkar

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