Raising the Roof

Library-Events Center Reaches Milestone

by Anne Mooney / October 30, 2020

A group of 50 or so dignitaries gathered this morning, October 30, to celebrate the ‘topping out’ of the Winter Park Library & Events Center. This important milestone – the signing and hoisting of the final roofbeam — signifies that the structural skeleton of the building is now complete. Representatives of the Winter Park Public Library, the construction and the architectural firms and major donors joined the Mayor and Commissioners to place their signatures on the beam.

The signing and hoisting of a roofbeam is an ancient practice dating back thousands of years. Some describe origins from pre-medieval Scandinavian cultures, some refer to native American practices, and still others hark back to 2700 BC Egypt. The ceremony marks the completion of the building’s skeleton, and the beam is symbolic of the upper-most piece going into place as the building reaches its full height.

David Odahowski, President & CEO of the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, a major donor to the Library-Events Center, affixes his signature to the beam.

Via Skype, design architect Sir David Adjaye said to the assembled crowd, “Today’s topping out ceremony represents a huge milestone in the completion of the Winter Park Library & Events Center. The power of this project is that it represents another prototype, another version of what the library has evolved into – the library as a campus of knowledge. Once completed, the new complex will bring together knowledge and community facilities to make a village, a hamlet of knowledge.”

“The new Library & Events Center in Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, will not only activate reading, imagination and creativity,” said Winter Park Public Library Board of Trustees President Lawrence Lyman, “it will be transformative for our community. . . . I couldn’t be more thrilled that the library’s vision has been brought to life by such a masterful architect.”

The grand opening of the Winter Park Library & Events Center is expected in the Fall of 2021.

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    By: Anne Mooney

    Anne Mooney has assumed the editorship of the Winter Park Voice from founding editor Tom Childers.

    Mooney got her start in New York as a freelance line editor for book publishers, among them Simon & Schuster and the Clarkson Potter division of Crown Books. From New York, she and her husband and their year-old toddler moved to Washington, D.C., where the two ran a newswire service for Harper’s magazine. “We called it Network News,” said Mooney, “because it was a network of the Harper’s writers, whose work we edited into newspaper style and format and sold to papers in the top U.S. and Canadian markets. We were sort of like a tiny UPI.”

    The newswire ceased operation with the death of Mooney’s first husband, but Mooney continued to write and edit, doing freelance work for Williams Sonoma cookbooks and for local publications in D.C.

    In 2005, Mooney moved to Winter Park, where she worked as a personal chef and wrote a regular food column for a south Florida magazine. She took an active interest in Winter Park politics and was there when the Winter Park Voice was founded. She wrote occasional pieces for the Voice, including the Childers bio that this piece replaces.

    The Winter Park Voice is one of a large number of “hyper-local” publications that have sprung up across the U.S. in response to the decline of the major daily newspapers and the resulting deficit of local news coverage. The Voice’sbeat is Winter Park City Hall, and its purpose is to help the residents of our city better understand the political forces that shape our daily lives.

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