BOSTON - January 16, 2024 - Mayor Michelle Wu and the Boston Public Library (BPL) today announced the completion of the renovation of the Faneuil Branch of the BPL. The branch underwent a $14 million, 11,700-square-foot renovation. The programming, design, and construction of the branch were managed by the City of Boston's Public Facilities Department, designed by Oudens Ello Architecture, and built by contractor Boston Building & Bridge with consultation from the Mayor's Office of Arts & Culture, Boston Landmarks Commission, and Massachusetts Historical Commission.
The branch will open for in-person service on January 25, and the community is invited to attend a ribbon cutting and celebration at 3 p.m on January 25 with Mayor Michelle Wu.
"The reopening of the Faneuil Branch means a revitalized hub for the Brighton community. Our libraries throughout our city are symbols of our dedication to knowledge, inclusivity, and progress," said Mayor Michelle Wu. "As a space newly designed for everyone, this renovated branch is a place where people of all ages can learn, collaborate, and engage."
The 11,700-square-foot renovation added 4,859 square feet of usable space to the branch. It was designed with feedback from the Brighton community, combining the best attributes of the original 1931 Art Deco building with a need for growth to accommodate the functional and technological demands of a modern library.
"The reimagined Faneuil Branch in Oak Square not only breathes new life into this historic building, but also adds new services to better respond to the ever-evolving needs of our patrons," said BPL President David Leonard. "We are so excited to welcome everyone back to this revitalized space - a space that embraces its architectural history while expanding patrons' horizons as together, we look toward the future of our neighborhood and city."
The first floor now includes a new Children's Room, JaiJai's Room, with a custom-designed mural by Curtis Williams that includes drawings from local children, funded by the Percent for Art program, and a community room designed to serve up to 72 people. JaiJai's Room is named after the late Jairam Rodriguez, who spent his children and teen years as an active Faneuil Branch member and volunteer. On the exterior, a new entrance pavilion improves access from Faneuil Street, incorporating a new elevator and public stair connecting the street level with the raised main floor of the library and serving as the primary entrance for all patrons. The pavilion's massing and proportions create a visible, welcoming, and transparent public entrance that complements the existing Art Deco building.
"We're thrilled for residents to experience the new and improved Faneuil Branch in Oak Square! We hope you enjoy the combination of new and old, with its restored historic features and universal access features, especially the improved access around the entire library," said Kerrie Griffin, Director of the City of Boston's Public Facilities Department. "We're grateful to the residents of the Oak Square community for their participation and patience throughout the many phases of this project."
The City's FY24 budget contains funding for continued improvements to the Boston Public Library's branch system. Branches slated for revitalization include Chinatown, Egleston, Fields Corner, and South End. These projects include community engagement to gain input, feedback, and insight from patrons and local organizations. More information on these additional projects can be found at apps.boston.gov/capital-projects.
Faneuil Branch hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Tuesday 12 p.m. - 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday hours have expanded at Faneuil and across the BPL system since the branch was last open.
ABOUT THE BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library is a pioneer of public library service in America. It was the first large, free municipal library in the United States; the first public library to lend books; the first to have a branch library; and the first to have a children’s room.
The Boston Public Library of today is a robust system that includes the Central Library in Copley Square, 25 neighborhood branches, the Norman B. Leventhal Map and Education Center, the Kirstein Business Library and Innovation Center, and an archival center, offering public access to world-class special collections of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, and prints, along with rich digital content and online services.
The Boston Public Library serves nearly 4 million visitors per year and millions more online. All of its programs and exhibitions are free to all and open to the public. The Boston Public Library is a department of the City of Boston, under the leadership of Mayor Michelle Wu. To learn more, visit bpl.org.