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'Nostalgic' City Centers are Becoming all the Rage OTP

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The lil' town of Lilburn in Gwinnett County is joining the list of cities in the metro area looking to create new town centers — or little walkable pieces of the urban pie. The City of Lilburn has released a call for contractors to spearhead the construction of a new town hall and replacement branch of the Gwinnett County Library in the city. Following in the footsteps of Alpharetta, ITP Brookhaven and Sandy Springs, the new plan hearkens to the days when cities centered around grand civic spaces and town halls. Hoping to play up the old-timey sentiments, the Lilburn plan calls for the architectural style to be "nostalgic." It's all further proof that, in terms of the residential (and human) experience, something went totally and perhaps irrevocably wrong after World War II.

The rendering shows an L-shaped, two-story brick city hall and large plaza, complete with historic-looking clock tower and an adjacent library. Clocking in at more 47,940 square feet, the space will provide administrative offices, a large meeting room and council chambers, as well as a library twice the size of the city's current branch.

Lilburn officials hope the project — sited on a hill over Lawrenceville Highway — will feature prominently in people's perception of the city. Overall, the architecture is uninspired, to say the least, but the attempt to create a city center is commendable from an urban-planning perspective, if not unrealistic considering the urban sprawl it sits among.

· City Construction Projects [City of Lilburn]