Abandoned Walmart Becomes a Library

Walmart is best known for predatory corporate behaviour that damages communities and for the “interesting” people who shop there. One thing that Walmart does is pit one small town against the other to get cheap land and better tax rates, this sometimes means that an existing Walmart gets abandoned.

A small Texas town decided to turn their vacant Walmart into something useful: a library!

Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle transformed an abandoned Walmart in McAllen, Texas, into a 124,500-square-foot public library, the largest single-floor public library in the United States.

The design won the International Interior Design Association’s 2012 Library Interior Design Competition. MSR stripped out the old ceiling and walls of the building, gave the perimeter walls and bare warehouse ceiling a coat of white paint, and set to work adding glass-enclosed spaces, bright architectural details and row after row of books.

Read more.

Washington D.C. Approves Living Wage Bill

Washington D.C. lawmakers approved a proposed bill that institutes a living wage for the region. This is after a loud and boisterous campaign from Walmart to keep poverty-level wages. Walmart is known for low wages, firing employees who report animal abuse, and a whole list of other criticisms. Yet, Walmart makes millions of dollars and has been known to use it’s size to influence policies in their favour so it’s good to see that D.C. stood up to this anti-people corporation.

“The question here is a living wage; it’s not whether Wal-Mart comes or stays,” said council member Vincent B. Orange (D-At Large), a lead backer of the legislation, who added that the city did not need to kowtow to threats. “We’re at a point where we don’t need retailers. Retailers need us.”

Whether or not Wal-Mart needs the District, it had spent the past three years wanting to enter the city in a way no other business had. Activists celebrated Wednesday’s vote, saying the company, which reported net income of $17 billion on sales of $470 billion in its most recent fiscal year, could afford to pay better wages. But the council action threatens to halt several developments anchored by Wal-Mart in neighborhoods long under­served.

Read more at Washington Post.

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