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Central Library Renovation: Second Floor Opens February 21

Posted on January 19th, 2015 by Gina Perille in Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
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BPL_ChildrensLibraryEntThe date has been set for the opening of the renovated second floor of the Johnson building at Boston Public Library’s Central Library in Copley Square. On Saturday, February 21, the residents of Boston and beyond will get their first look at the new second floor, which includes a new children’s library, teen area, nonfiction collection, reference services, and a community reading area.

The Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street, opens at 9 a.m. on Saturday, February 21. Both the Boylston Street entrance and the Dartmouth Street entrance will be open. The celebratory ribbon cutting will take place at 12 p.m. Mayor Martin J. Walsh is scheduled to attend.

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Central Library Renovation: Movies & Music

Posted on January 15th, 2015 by Michael Colford in Collections, Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
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With DVDs and music CDs still among the most borrowed collections in the library, a special space has been designed for them on the first floor of the Johnson building, next to the Borrower Services desk. Despite more and more content available as streaming or downloadable media, many patrons still check out the physical discs. A slightly raised platform between the check-out desk and Tech Central will hold the movies and music collections. In addition, viewing and listening stations will be set up for patrons who would like to preview media before they borrow it or see what is available digitally. This is Phase 2 work and will be complete in 2016.

Central Library Renovation: World-class Fiction

Posted on January 12th, 2015 by Michael Colford in Collections, Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
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A photo of the architects’ model showing the fiction section and new stairway to mezzanine.

A photo of the architects’ model showing the fiction section and new stairway to mezzanine.

The Central Library’s fiction collection will be a truly world-class collection. Running along the Exeter Street side of the first floor and the mezzanine, fiction in the Central Library will be arranged by genre. In addition to the general fiction, there will be a large section on the first floor devoted to mystery. A new stairway to the mezzanine will lead to sections for science fiction/fantasy, urban fiction, and graphic novels.

Lounge seating and table seating throughout the section will allow for leisurely perusal of selections to read or to chat with a friend about the latest book they are reading.

BPL artwork will find a home in the fiction section as well, with busts of authors, such as Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, and Henry James on display.

Central Library Renovation: Exterior View

Posted on January 9th, 2015 by Gina Perille in Johnson Building Study, Major Projects
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Part of the phase two work taking place at the Central Library in Copley Square involves the removal of the granite screens that sat in front of the first-floor windows on Boylston Street and Exeter Street. The image below shows the exterior of the Johnson building without the screens. Some of the removed granite screens will be re-used in the project’s exterior paving plan. The silver fence in the foreground is the construction fence that surrounds the site. If you look closely, you can see a compact tractor exiting the former children’s room.


Below is a image from the library’s Flickr photostream that shows constructions workers on site outside the Johnson building in June 1972. The granite screens were in place in 1972.


Central Library Renovation: Exhibition Gallery

Posted on January 7th, 2015 by Beth Prindle in Johnson Building Study, Major Projects
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BPL_DraftNewGalleryA new, customized gallery space — illustrated above — is planned on the first floor of the renovated Johnson building for when renovations are complete in the summer of 2016. The gallery is going to be designed to accommodate the preservation and display needs for special collections exhibitions in an easily accessible, high-traffic public space. The gallery will include four custom built-in walls of cases totaling nearly 80 linear feet of display space. Special features of the new gallery include:

  • museum-grade, fixed air exchange systems for preservation of sensitive materials
  • integrated adjustable lighting
  • high-level security features
  • modular shelving and hanging systems to accommodate a broad variety of objects and display needs
  • easily customizable and interchangeable graphics system.

The space will feature a series of themed special collections exhibitions. Content will be rotated throughout the year, with each rotation featuring 15-30 items from the library’s extraordinary holdings. Displayed items may include prints, photographs, maps, rare books, manuscripts, paintings, architectural drawings, artifacts, and other items from the library’s collections.