The funky saucer canopy at the Hyattsville Public Library has been spared and plans drawn up by an architectural firm for the county show it relocated and used as an accent feature on the new building.
The treatment of the Saucer has changed dramatically. A Space Age flourish that now mostly covers the occasional smoker at the aging library building, it was at one point planned to be torn down with the rest. The new plans refer to it as “iconic.”
That’s in part because of the creative Save Our Saucer campaign and Hyattsville residents speaking up. The community notes on a recent presentation from Grimm+Parker include comments like “saucer is an important architectural feature and a community icon” and “the spaceship draws kids to the library.”
Otherwise, the plans are not that dissimilar from the original, calling for lots of lighting, community space and modern approaches to energy conservation.
At the end of the day, the fight over the Saucer represents the best-case scenario for historic preservation: keeping a link to the past while also providing for the needs of the present. Other good local examples: Franklin’s brew pub, the Crossover Church in the old Armory and the Lustine Center.