Library to buy Palisade’s Blue Pig Gallery
A month after nixing plans to move the Palisade branch library into a former coffee shop because of cost concerns, the Mesa County Public Library District found a new, larger home downtown that administrators think will serve the branch well.
The library’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously during a special meeting Wednesday night to buy the roughly 5,000-square-foot building at 119 W. Third St. for $400,000. The building is owned by Westwood Rental LLC and currently houses the Blue Pig Gallery.
The sale is contingent upon the town issuing the library a planning clearance, something that’s expected to happen next month.
“It’s a downtown location, and we really wanted something downtown because we think downtown Palisade is a pretty special place,” library spokesman Bob Kretschman said Thursday. “It can help generate traffic for the library, and I think we are a good presence in downtown.”
The library expects to spend less than $20,000 to renovate the building.
Kretschman said library administrators were drawn to the gallery’s abundance of natural lighting and an outdoor courtyard area in the back of the building that could be used for a reading area, programs, workshops or some other purpose.
The library will work with the Blue Pig Gallery to allow artists to continue selling work at the gallery through Colorado Mountain Winefest, which ends Sept. 18. Kretschman said the branch’s current location at 711 Iowa Ave. will close sometime after Labor Day in preparation for the move and reopen at its new location in early October.
It’s unclear what the library’s move means for the Blue Pig Gallery.
Blue Pig owner Marla Wood, whose family owns Westwood Rental LLC, said Thursday the gallery is “exploring opportunities.” She declined to elaborate.
Kretschman said Westwood Rental LLC approached the library about purchasing the building last month after the library backed away from the former Tucan Coffee House at 239 S. Main St. The Board of Trustees had agreed in May to buy the 2,800-square-foot building for $300,000 but pulled out of the deal after determining it would be too expensive to install an elevator, add restrooms and complete other work needed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.