SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has finally decided the fate of the North Beach Library, culminating years of debate over whether it should be renovated or replaced.

The proposal approved by the supervisors calls to build a new North Beach Library and close a block of Mason Street to create a mini park that would include both the library and the Joe DiMaggio Playground.

City Librarian Luis Herrera said a new library is desperately needed.

“It is seismically unsafe, it is not accessible and does not provide the programming space required to serve the community’s needs,” he said.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

But the plan has plenty of naysayers as critics have long called for preservation of the old library.

They have argued that the structure is a historic landmark worthy of preservation and that construction in the area would just be more of a headache for both foot and vehicle traffic.

The San Francisco Planning Commission had originally approved the project’s environmental impact report in April and groundbreaking could take place as early as later this year.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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