Designers Turn Abandoned Walmart Into America’s Largest Library

McAllen Public Library

Walmarts, the granddaddy of big box stores, are ubiquitous in America. Their lumbering structures and parking lots cover vast areas – a single store is the size of 2.5 football fields. Often cited as a major reason for sprawl in North America, Walmarts have been further criticised for their habit of abandoning stores for various reasons from upgrading to poor business. These soulless shells often sit idle for long periods, taking up space and infrastructure, contributing to nothing but blight. When the city of McAllen, Texas inherited one such store, it decided to give it a better use. Designers Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle completely overhauled the interior to create a bright and playful space for books and people to intermingle. At 124,500 sqft, this McAllen Public Library is the largest single-floor public library in the US.

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