Boston Public Library
Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Category Archives: Major Projects

Ceiling Work on first floor of Johnson Building brings second round of moves

Posted on April 18th, 2014 by Michael Colford in Collections, Library Services, Major Projects, Moves

In late June and late July renovation work will begin on the ceilings of the first floor/mezzanine of the Johnson Building. The work will be done in sections so that only portions of the Johnson Building will have to be closed off, but several collections will be moving into the McKim Building, or to a different location in the Johnson Building during this work.

One of the most significant moves will be the Fiction, currently located outside of the Rey Children’s Room on the first floor of the Johnson Building. The Fiction collection will be moving to the Lower Level of the McKim building, a space that is currently not open to the public. Along with the Fiction will move the Large Print and the World Language collections, currently housed on the mezzanine. This move will take place in mid-June.

Just before that, some of the collections, the computers, and the service desk in the Teen Room will be moving downstairs into the Boston Room, which is currently being used for Children’s programming opposite the Borrower Services Desk. This will function as a temporary Teen Room until the brand new Teen Central opens in March 2015.

Another major move involves our Tech Central area where computers are available for public use. This popular service will move back to the Washington Room on the second floor of the McKim Building, Longtime library users will recall that the public computers used to be in the Washington Room back in 2009 and before. This move will take place in July.  In order to make room for Tech Central, the Microtext Department will be moving into Bates Hall.  In addition, new Microtext reader equipment will be installed that will provide better service for those using this format for research.

The popular DVD and CD collections will be moving in July as well. The Orientation Room is located on the first floor of the McKim Building, down the hall from the public rest rooms. This glassed in room will house the DVDs, the music CDs and the Books on CD. A second check-out desk will be activated in the McKim Lobby to accommodate the Fiction and audio-visual collections in the McKim Building.

Later in the year additional collections including new Fiction and Non-Fiction, Travel and self-pick-up of books on hold will be moving into the McKim building as well.  All of these moves are subject to change, so stay tuned for additional information about these moves.

Jamaica Plain branch design process begins

Posted on April 17th, 2014 by Christine Schonhart in Branches, Library Services, Major Projects
Tags:

On April 9th, the Library, architects from Utile, Inc, and project managers from the City’s Property and Construction Management team joined over 50 community members in Jamaica Plain to begin discussions on the design for a renovated Jamaica Plain branch of the Boston Public Library. Located at 12 Sedgwick Street, the branch opened in 1911 and the last major interior renovation was in 1963. In 2013 a program study was completed with the goals of renovation to include accessibility, expanded spaces for all ages, art gallery space, and a rejuvenated multi-purpose room. The next meeting of the community group will be on May 21st at the Jamaica Plain branch at 6pm. Join the conversation in person or online. All meeting minutes and presentations will be posted here: http://www.bpl.org/branches/branch_capital_projects.htm#jamaicaplain_library

 

Central Library Renovation: Community Reading Area

Posted on March 26th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
Tags: , ,

BPL2ndfloorcolorgrid

A colorized floor plan of the second floor. Boylston Street is at the bottom of the image.

The second floor of the renovated Johnson Building will include a community reading area with comfortable seating as well as work space for individual and collaborative efforts. In the accompanying image, the community reading area is in the center, bottom. A large, arched window will bring in light from Boylston Street into the reading area as will the skylights in the Johnson Building’s center atrium. Nonfiction collections will be on both sides of the community reading area and near the elevators. The second floor also includes a new children’s library (multi-colored section top right), teen central (gray section top left), and reference area (purple section middle left).

Central Library Renovation: Community Learning Center

Posted on March 24th, 2014 by ggifford@private.bpl.org in Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
Tags: , , , , ,

CommunityLearning Bienvenido a la Biblioteca!

The Community Learning space on the renovated Mezzanine level of the Johnson Building will be a lively, open, and welcoming conversation spot for patrons who are learning English, preparing for citizenship exams, or who enjoy reading, studying, and practicing foreign languages. The library’s World Language books, test preparation materials, and literacy collection will be arranged in the surrounding space to support literacy programs, small group tutoring, and conversation circles.

The newly designed space will have three study rooms perfect for tutoring sessions and small group conversation.

Godetevi la vostra nuova libreria!

Central Library Renovation: Exterior Improvements

Posted on March 18th, 2014 by David Leonard in Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
Tags: , , ,

Two of the Central Library Renovation Project’s key goals for master planning were to: “connect the library to the city,” and “to create an inviting first impression.” To put it mildly, these are unquestionably weak spots of the original Philip Johnson design, and goals which set high expectations for the renovations on the exterior of the building.

Components of the exterior renovation, now entering their final design stages include removal of almost all of the defensive granite screens on Boylston, Exeter and Blagden Streets, some of which may have a new but subtler life as paving elements. Additional features will include remodeled entrances, more energy efficient and transparent glass, with a less imposing framing structure, exterior furniture (including bike racks) and signage allowing the library experience to truly start on the outside of the building. Another creative proposal involves the use of high-limbed trees, to add a natural counterpoint to and reduce the severity of the building, all the while retaining appropriate levels of symmetry with the McKim building.

The planning team looks forward to continue its conversations with the Boston Landmarks Commission, who have jurisdiction over certain pieces of the project, and with neighborhood groups such as the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay (NAAB) and many others. After all, statistics tell us that even today, in addition to users who consider the Central Library their main branch, 47% of all systemwide users also use the Central Library in addition to their neighborhood branch.

Rendering of the Johnson Building landscaping. Inset image: a view of Boylston Street from Exeter Corner.

Renderings of the Johnson Building exterior improvements. Inset image: a view depicting Boylston Street from vantage point of Exeter Street.