NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County is in the design stages for a new county building in downtown Wilmington that will create a purpose-built Public Library adjacent to a modern Cape Fear Museum. The new building will anchor cultural resources in downtown Wilmington, create new synergy in services, and enhance the visitor’s experience.
The schematic design for the new building, which is part of the county’s “Project Grace” redevelopment project, has been completed and the exterior design renderings can be viewed here.
To get a sense of the local history and modern, functional touches that inspired the building’s design, watch this short video.
In addition, as part of schematic design, the floor plans for the library and museum have been created and can be viewed here, and a video outlining the different services and experiences on each floor can be watched here.
As outlined in the floor plans, the library will continue to provide adult services, children services, and local history services, and will be adding enhanced teen and tween services to ensure all citizens have a place to learn and grow. It will also have two outdoor reading terraces, one dedicated specifically to children on the first floor and one dedicated to adults on the second floor, and incorporate natural light throughout to ensure it is a welcoming and open space.
The museum experience will be greatly enhanced with a planetarium/immersive theater, gallery for Cape Fear Stories, health and nutrition gallery, Science Matters gallery, outdoor exhibit space, and changing gallery to accommodate a wider range of traveling exhibits. There will also be plenty of outdoor space dedicated to the museum and for community celebrations and meetings. The building will also have shared multi-purpose space that the library and museum can both use for additional programming opportunities.
With schematic design complete, the development team will begin working closely with a landscape architect, an exhibit designer for the museum exhibits, a structural engineer for the building, and many other disciplines to ensure the details of the vision established in the discovery phase and schematic design are accomplished. This process will likely take through January 2022.
While the design development phase continues, the county wants to gather ideas from the community on what this new public building, that will bring the county’s library and museum together under one roof, should be named. Individuals, community groups, classrooms, and organizations can submit name ideas for the building from now through Monday, October 18 at NHCgov.com/Project-Grace.
This new building will be a place where stories are experienced, discovered, and told, and it will be a gathering place for all. So everyone in the community is encouraged to take part and share their ideas for naming this building, that will be a major part of our community for generations to come.
A list of frequently asked questions and more information is available at NHCgov.com/Project-Grace.