Fulton Buys Dinsmore Farm for Milton Library

A $1.1 million purchase price was set for the old farm property at the corner of Mayfield Road and Charlotte Drive in Crabapple.

UPDATED 4:20 p.m.: Fulton Commissioner Liz Hausmann said the library branch will be sited in the center of what will become Milton's downtown centre.

Crabapple will be home to the new Milton Library branch after Fulton County Commissioners OK'd spending $1.1 million to buy property at the corner of Charlotte Drive and Mayfield Road.

Commissioner Liz Hausmann's motion to buy the Imogene Dinsmore estate property passed unanimously during a meeting on June 6.

Hausmann said the location is in the heart of the area Milton has chosen as its future downtown. And it's near three schools: , and .

"It's geographically in North Fulton well placed" compared to locations of other library branches, she said.

Designs will be prepared beginning next month. Once completed, community meetings will be held. Construction should begin in Spring 2013. And if all goes well and the weather cooperates, the new library branch should open in spring 2014, Hausmann said.

The 25,000-square-foot Milton branch of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System is part of a $275 million building program funded by a bond referendum approved by county voters in 2008. This branch, Alpharetta's replacement library branch to be built on its Center Center property and an East Roswell branch are among the eight new libraries in Phase I of the program. Phase I has a $167 million budget. The initial estimate for construction of the Milton branch was just over $7 million, the same as Alpharetta's estimate.

Milton City Council member Karen Thurman pleased those Milton business and community leaders at the Crabapple Community Association's June 14 meeting at , a block away from the library site.

"They approved the purchase of the property, which is the old Dinsmore farm, at the corner of Charlotte and Mayfield, for the Milton library," Thurman said. "They have approved the architects and engineering. And they have approved the construction contractor."

She said the library system will be getting a lot of input from the community to make sure it is a Milton-type library.

The library system first took input from Milton residents on what they wanted in a lilbrary. All of those comments were provided to the architects, who will use them in making plans, Hausmann said. Once the designs are completed, the public again will get to comment on if the community's needs are being met.

The Milton library branch will serve residents of the city, and those in west Alpharetta west Roswell, Thurman said.

Hausmann said the location, on a corner lot, offers opportunities for access. Milton's plans to improve transportation in its downtown will help the library also.

Travis Allen June 15, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Typical BS from Fulton County...I thought they said it needed to have access to public transportation? Do they even give a hoot that the property is potentially historic?
Tara June 15, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Was is not possible to utilize the already cleared area behind OBD? That property added such charm to the area.
Travis Allen June 15, 2012 at 12:50 PM
You're expecting things to make sense...
Patti Silva June 15, 2012 at 01:58 PM
They say I'm a dreamer and I ain't the only one.... That the old farm would be there forever. Too bad my sweet dream of a family purchasing the property for renovation and raising a family there didn't come about in time. I just hope Fulton County "loves" on our town's history and uses the home as an entrance/foyer for the library. Think out of the box and creates a masterpiece of old and new.
Travis Allen June 15, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Fulton County doesn't give a damn about this area's history...
Patti Silva June 15, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Then, we need to change that. At least try to make them see why it is so valuable and the honorable thing to do under the circumstances. They could take this opportunity to win hearts (and minds:) and create something magnificently charming and inviting, and useful, rather than not, win accolades locally and nationally for something very well designed. Okay, who's the architect?!?! :)
Kim June 15, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Do we really need 2 libraries that close to each other? I can think of more strategic locations to reach a broader number.
Travis Allen June 15, 2012 at 06:46 PM
If you're referring to the library at the other end of Mayfield, it will be closed and replaced by the new library in the mess that will be "Downtown" Alpharetta.
Kyle Tripp June 16, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Yes, we need more libraries. There aren't enough access points to literature these days. What's next a building for citizens to go and use typewriters?
Joanie M Cooper June 16, 2012 at 03:34 PM
I agree. It is a beautiful setting, up on the hill with the large tree. If not for traffic and funding would have loved to have renovated and called it home. Hopefully the architects can put together a one-of-a kind nod to the past, and create a charming version of old and new as you said.
Travis Allen June 16, 2012 at 04:32 PM
It's called the internet...
No Name June 16, 2012 at 04:52 PM
At least this location will be a heckuva lot more convenient than the new library in the new urban jungle "downtown" Alpharetta. I would never go to a library that might require me to park in a parking deck! Except for destroying the beauty of the Dinsmore property, I am excited to have an accessible library in a more serene setting. This will be my library destination.
No Name June 16, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Some of us still prefer holding a book in our hands.
Travis Allen June 16, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Accessibility will be a huge issue for this property. The location choice is in direct conflict with the initial location requirements that were posted when the county began the search. It will be located on the corner of two busy two lane roads, there is no access to Public Transit, even within walking distance, and there are no sidewalks for the local schools or daycare students to get to it. The vacant lot at the corner of Webb Road and Cogburn Road would have been ideal...there is nothing built there, plenty of land, it's directly across the street from an Elementary and Middle School, there are two private schools down the road and Cambridge High scheduled to open in the fall. Marta could easily be re-routed to service the intersection, but even without that happening, there are several stops within walking distance. There are also at least 5 daycare / pre-k schools within reasonable walking distance.
D June 16, 2012 at 05:45 PM
A new library...how wonderful! Now would someone tell me about the traffic situation and how it will be handled? My son and his family live further down Mayfield, it now takes them 30 minutes to get to our home, a distance of 4 miles, during the week. Took us 24 minutes to get to Alpharetta Elementary to get our granddaughter. Why didn't you look into using the land on Freemanville that was originally planned for a school? Milton has become so elitist it cares for nothing but their own desires.
No Name June 16, 2012 at 05:47 PM
No argument with your reasoning there. Regardless, here or there, I'm gonna be more inclined to patronize Milton's library than the jungle library and risk having to park in a crime-magnet deck.
Travis Allen June 16, 2012 at 06:23 PM
D, the land on Freemanville is even further out of the way...but good thinking since it is already owned by the county.
Bob Pepalis (Editor) June 16, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Do you think the Fulton County School System would give away property to Fulton County, a separate government body? Or would they charge them for it?
Gina Daunt June 17, 2012 at 03:43 AM
I'm so very sad about this. I love this house and property, I've always wished it was my grandma's house and I'd grown up visiting there every summer. I'm upset because I know in my heart they aren't going to keep one piece of it intact and will just come in and level it all. It hurts my heart that it will change everything about the area in which I live and travel often. WTH happened to the just re-released proposed downtown Alpharetta new library building anyway? It may not make sense to some but makes much better sense than such a confined space to me! Utter fail!
Julie Hollingsworth Hogg June 17, 2012 at 04:37 AM
Though I live in Crabapple and think a library down the street is a swell idea, I admit I'm a little confused about this. Why another library so close to the one in Alpharetta? I knew the property would ultimately sell to a non-residential buyer, but a library? And a scant 3-4 miles from the Alpharetta library? Where did Fulton County get the money to be so, so, redundant?
Gina Daunt June 17, 2012 at 05:23 AM
Julie, The old Alpharetta library is slated for closure and will be torn down. This is a replacement library for the area and could have been in any number of locations. For some reason, this one won out it seems.
No Name June 17, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Gina - The old Alph library is being torn down and will be replaced by a new library downtown. See link. My guess is that people will not like having to sometimes park in the deck + fight the congestion. Having another more accessible option in the area will be a huge blessing. http://www.alpharetta.ga.us/index.php?p=465&pd_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.peakdemocracy.com%2Fportals%2F73%2FForum_280%2FIssue_948%3Fa%3D79
Travis Allen June 17, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Bob, knowing them, they'd charge more per acre than the actual market value, with one side claiming it was a bargain and the other claiming they took a loss.
Travis Allen June 17, 2012 at 01:55 PM
@No Name...again, our definitions of accessibility obviously vary greatly...you might not have to park in a deck for the Crabapple library, but you'll have to sit through 45 minutes or more of traffic depending on when you go, you won't be able to turn left out of it I'd think either, and parking will most likely be an issue, like it is today at the current monstrosity on Mayfield.
No Name June 17, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Travis - I agree that this isn't the best site. Guess I'm not communicating that well. I just meant that it will be nice to have another option *somewhere* on the west side of 400 that does not involve going to downtown Alph.
Mike Kennedy June 17, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Every drawing I've seen has surface parking right at the front door of the downtown Alpharetta library.
No Name June 17, 2012 at 06:36 PM
....until the lot fills up since only 1/5 of the needed spaces are surface parking. Even the old library, which is certainly not a draw, fills up their parking lot regularly and folks must park in the grass or across along the street in the adjacent neighborhood. But the 1/5 spots will be a non-issue if there is another Milton option since the Alph library currently draws from NW Fulton. Not sure if less congestion is a given at Crabapple at certain times either, but a Freemanville location...... that would be perfect.
Dianna Malta June 18, 2012 at 03:22 PM
You may say I'm a a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. My hope is that the original farmhouse will stay as a community meeting building (if the lead paint inside can be remediated) and somehow the lumber from the outbuildings can be used in the lobby of the new library or town hall. That is if vandals are kept from taking the rest of the usable lumber that was stolen when the elderly couple first vacated the property. If I'm not mistaken, the rear property extends through to Mid-Broadwell between two other existing properties so it will have another entrance. The losers are the long time residents of Charlotte and Mid-Broadwell unless they jump in and offer their adjoining properties for sale to Milton to increase the footprint of the new Milton City Center. The best advice I have is to attend every single Milton meeting you are able so that you stay in the loop. You may not be heard, but you do have a voice.
Ben Burnett July 04, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Is that like you once saw the drawings for downtown alpharetta without apartments and condo's?


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