$11 million renovation will improve access to Newberry Library collection
Loop North News

Newberry Library / Ann Beha Architects

(Above) Rendering of a new main gallery Newberry Library will soon build.

$11 million renovation will improve access to Newberry Library collection

26-Jun-17 – An $11 million, six-month-long renovation at the Newberry Library aims to help visitors interact with the independent research library’s collection of books, maps, and manuscripts.

The renovation will start in January and transform much of the library’s 25,600 square foot main floor.

Newberry Library / Ann Beha Architects A new information center (left) will be added to help visitors learn how to use the 130-year-old library’s collection of 1.5 million books, 500,000 maps, and assorted manuscripts, some dating back to the 14th Century.

A permanent exhibition gallery will feature items in the library’s collection. A seminar room will allow classes and other groups to interact with the collection and library staff. Event spaces will accommodate a variety of public programming. A handicapped-accessible entrance is also being added.

“We consider ourselves a community of learning that flourishes both within our walls and beyond them,” said David Spatafora, president and librarian of Newberry Library. “But the Newberry is first and foremost a physical space built on bringing our users into direct contact with the legacy of the past.”

$4.4 million of the estimated cost has been raised from private sources, according to library personnel.

The new spaces were designed by Ann Beha Architects, a Boston firm that has worked for University of Chicago.

(Right) Permanent gallery. (Click on image to view larger version.)

Newberry Library / Ann Beha Architects

The library was established in 1887 with money inherited from Chicago businessman Walter Loomis Newberry. Its current location on Walton Street opened in 1893.

By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News | sdahlman@loopnorth.com

Published 26-Jun-17 1:38 AM

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