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Category Archives: Major Projects

Central Library Renovation: Upcoming Phases

Posted on February 28th, 2014 by David Leonard in Johnson Building Study, Major Projects
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As Phase 1 work continues, library staff members are engaged with the next phases of design as well as planning for where library services would be temporarily located and operate during future construction.

While it’s possible that the Central Library renovation project could ultimately be funded as  a multi-phase project, the current approach is to complete design for the total remaining scope of the project. The complete design builds on what was covered in the master plan and will include all the remaining elements in one set of design documents. At present, the next stage of approvals is estimated to take place in April 2014.

The City of Boston capital budget process, managed by the City of Boston Property and Construction Management department and the City of Boston Office of Budget Management takes place now through to the City Council approval vote at the end of June 2014.

Central Library Renovation: New Reads

Posted on February 26th, 2014 by Michael Colford in Collections, Johnson Building Study, Major Projects
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As the construction starts on the second floor of the Johnson Building, design work is being finalized for the next phase of construction which will include work on first floor, pending capital budget approval. There are exciting plans in the works for the lobby and the two front sections of the library that currently include the circulation area, Boston Room, and the Rey Children’s Room. The walls in those areas will be coming down to create one large open space that will feature interactive, electronic kiosks informing visitors about library events; a proposed digital art-installation as you walk in the door; and a new open area currently called “New Reads” where library staff will engage with readers about books, new books will be displayed, and popular collections will be featured. Readers will be able to browse new titles, sit in comfortable chairs with a cup of coffee while deciding what to read next. Take a look at this early concept drawing of what the space might look like.


A rendering of the “New Reads” section.


Central Library Renovation: Phase 1 Overview

Posted on February 24th, 2014 by David Leonard in Johnson Building Study, Major Projects
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Now well into the second month of 2014, we are in the process of sharing updates on key components of the current design. This post is an overall project update on plans to improve the public spaces in the Johnson Building, still currently planned as spanning at least two phases.

A view of mobilization activity on the Blagden Street side of the Central Library in Copley Square.

A view of mobilization activity on the Blagden Street side of the Central Library in Copley Square.

The construction manager/general contractor firm Consigli was selected and began work in December 2013. Phase 1 architectural designs were completed and given final reviews in January 2014. Current activities on the second floor of the Johnson Building are in the abatement and demolition phase.

Library staff are working with teams from William Rawn Associates Architects and the City of Boston Property and Construction Management staff on finalizing interior design choices for Phase 1. Some of the finalization is focused on furniture and finishes including appropriate re-use of existing furniture and shelving.

Phase 1 is on track to be completed at the end of the calendar year or early 2015. It will feature a new Children’s Library, Teen Central space, updated nonfiction collections, reference services along with reading, study, and general seating areas. Download the project fact sheet (PDF) to learn more.

Central Library Renovation: Teen Central

Posted on February 21st, 2014 by Christine Schonhart in Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
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Plans for the new Teen Central space on the second floor of the Central Library have been heating up this winter. Library staff have met with the architects and Teen Council several times to review floor plans, collections, furniture, and technology for the new space. Teens are especially excited about two new features:  the game lounge – where teens will be able to take on their friends in the virtual game world – and the digital lab – where teens can let their creativity fly making movies, music, video games. and more.  Teen Central will have a very distinctive feel from the rest of the second floor with a more loft-inspired design. View the floor plan below to see all the different places young people can hang out, geek out, and mess around at Teen Central.

BPL teen central floor plan

Central Library Renovation: Blagden Street View

Posted on February 1st, 2014 by Gina Perille in Johnson Building Study, Major Projects
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Renovation-related activity has increased along the Blagden Street side of the Central Library in Copley Square. Bladgen Street runs between Dartmouth and Exeter and is parallel to Boylston Street. Barriers and construction trailers have started to arrive. To learn more about phase one of the Central Library renovation, download the project fact sheet (PDF).