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Edmonton leaves its mark on Stanley A. Milner Library

The Stanley A. Milner Library held a graffiti open house Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016. Credit: Edmonton Public Library

A graffiti open house was held Saturday at the Stanley A. Milner Library to give Edmontonians a chance to say a final farewell to the building before it undergoes a massive renovation.

People were invited to tag, mark up and draw on the walls of the downtown library before it closes its doors at the end of the month. Although the library’s foundation will stay the same, the revitalization includes tearing out all the existing interior walls, which is why people were allowed to draw on them.

The mayor was on hand for the “creative property destruction,” as he called it, and wrote “this library saves lives!” on the wall.

“This remains one of the most open, if not the most open, and inviting buildings anywhere in the civic inventory,” Don Iveson said. “And it will be even more so, even more inviting, even more interactive once the transformation of the renovation is complete.”

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READ MORE: New renderings show Edmonton’s Stanley A. Milner Library after revitalization

During the open house celebrations Saturday, the library received a $1-million gift from The Muttart Foundation, which will go towards the three-year, $69-million renovation.

“This donation will have an immense impact on the future Stanley A. Miler Library,” Pilar Martinez, CEO of the Edmonton Public Library, said. “We are extremely grateful for the generosity of The Muttart Foundation, and are thankful for their commitment to help us make it possible to build a community-centred public space better suited to meet the growing and changing needs of our customers.”

The Stanley A. Milner Library will close its doors on Dec. 31. A temporary downtown library branch at Enterprise Square will open on Jan. 3, 2017.

READ MORE: Edmonton’s Stanley A. Milner Library gets ready for a facelift

Renovations at Stanley A. Milner Library are expected to take three years, with the new facility set to open in 2020.

The graffiti open house runs until 6 p.m. Saturday.

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