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Central Library Renovation: Window Installation

Posted on October 2nd, 2015 by BPL News in Central Library Renovation, Major Projects

Window installation is underway on the first floor of the Boston Public Library’s Johnson Building in Copley Square, a major construction milestone in the Central Library Renovation. The seven soaring windows on Boylston, Exeter, and Blagden Streets, measure 19 feet high by 55 feet wide, and replace thick window panes that were tinted and obscured by granite screens and landscaping. The new window glass is ultra-clear for maximum transparency and will allow views both into the library and out onto the street that were never possible in the original building design. The addition of these windows will improve the visitor’s first impression to the Central Library, re-energizing the building’s connection to the street, and relaying a more contemporary presence.  In addition the window glass is more efficient than the 40 year old windows it replaces.

Boylston Window

At the corner of Boylston and Exeter Streets

A window is installed on Exeter Street

A window is installed on Exeter Street


Central Library Renovation: Concrete Slab Demolition

Posted on September 12th, 2015 by BPL News in Central Library Renovation, Major Projects
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Demolition of the first floor and mezzanine levels of the Central Library’s Johnson building is underway, a significant part of the second phase of the Central Library Renovation. Construction workers are removing the walls on the first floor and portions of the mezzanine level on the Boylston Street side of the Johnson building to create open travel paths and views as part of the building’s interior redesign. This multi-step process involves structural shoring and the use of heavy demolition equipment to chip away at the concrete, rebar, block, and brick. As a result of the construction, library visitors and staff on the second floor may feel vibrations and hear construction-related noises from the floors below. The demolition work is scheduled to be completed by the end of September and is a major project milestone in the second phase of the renovation, slated for completion in Summer 2016. The below diagrams are from William Rawn Associates’ Master Plan presentation, June 2013.

concrete slab demolition93demo2


Click the images to enlarge

Central Library Renovation Lighting in Johnson Building

Posted on August 17th, 2015 by admin in Johnson Building Study

IMG_5284The BPL is very mindful of the needs of all of its users, of all ages, students, children, laptop users, researchers, and those who are visually impaired. The importance of quality illumination is a cornerstone in the Central Library Renovation project. The quantity of lighting in these spaces meets or exceeds library lighting standards and is significantly brighter than the original lighting design. The new design has increased daylight, more overall ambient lighting, and more task lighting at desk areas to satisfy the range of user reading requirements.

By changing the original tinted glass windows to clear glass, natural lighting is increased, adding significant brightness to the perimeter areas. Reading areas have been placed to take advantage of this increase in natural light. In addition, a major reading area lines the edges of the skylit Deferrari Hall. The new interior wall finishes are illuminated to balance contrast and add brightness. The new light fixtures have a higher efficiency to maximize the amount of electric light permitted by the energy code. The result is higher general lighting throughout. In addition, a generous number of task lights have been installed specifically to address the needs of users who require higher localized lighting.

Other important factors that contribute to the quality of illumination include glare control and the color rendering of the light sources. The new light fixtures provide much greater glare control, which improves visual comfort, making the reading areas a more pleasant environment. The new light sources have improved color rendering so that colors appear more true to users expectations. The overall result is a space that is comfortable, cheerful, and provides a range of study conditions to satisfy the full range of the Boston Public Library’s patrons.

Scaffolding in Deferrari Hall

Posted on August 5th, 2015 by BPL News in Johnson Building Study, Major Projects

IMG_0318Contractors are installing scaffolding in Deferrari Hall in the Central Library’s Johnson building in conjunction with the Central Library Renovation. The scaffolding, running 80 feet high, is required for access to repair plaster around skylights and to replace light fixtures in the ceiling. Following the two week installation period taking place at night, the scaffolding will remain in place through November. The pathways to the stairs and the elevator will remain open to public access. Please email with any questions about the Central Library Renovation and follow the Compass blog for updates.

Have you seen our Bibliocycle? Because it’s awesome!

Posted on July 31st, 2015 by Christine Schonhart in Library Services
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This is the second year the Boston Public Library has offered outreach services via our bike-riding librarians on the Bibliocycle. So far, they have visited 22 locations, checked out 89 books, chatted with 631 visitors, and signed up 23 people for library cards. Today, our brave bikers are actually biking from Mission Hill to East Boston so you may see them at spots throughout the City.

Check us out at these upcoming events:

Saturday August 5th – East Boston Farmers Market (3 p.m. – 5 p.m.)

Sunday August 9th – August Moon Festival (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

Monday August 17th – South Boston Farmers Market (1 p.m. – 3 p.m )