Cambridge Public Library

The Cambridge Public Library in Cambridge, Massachusetts is part of the Minuteman Library Network. The library includes a headquarters and several branch buildings throughout the city. In fiscal year 2008, the city of Cambridge spent 1.39% ($4,689,660) of its budget on the library -- some $44 per person.

Main building
The main branch of the Cambridge Public Library is an historic library building at 449 Broadway. It was built in 1888. Its land and full construction funding were provided by Frederick H. Rindge, a Cambridge native and philanthropist. It was added to the National Historic Register in 1982. A $90 million expansion and renovation of the library, led by the Boston architectural firms William Rawn Associates and Ann Beha Architects, opened on November 8, 2009. The new addition more than triples the square footage of the building, and is the first building in the USA to make use of European Double-Skin Curtainwall technology. Architectural drawings and construction photos are available here. During most of the construction, the library collection had been relocated to the Longfellow School.

Here is some information by Ann Beha Architects: 

The award-winning restoration and expansion of the historic Cambridge Public Library, completed with William Rawn Associates, seamlessly connects the landmark Library to a striking new addition. The design features lively Children’s and Young Adults areas, new information technology and computer resources, meeting rooms, and a 220-seat auditorium. ABA’s role included the renovation of the historic Library, management of an extensive public participation and review process, and interior design for the entire complex. The building has enabled the Library to dramatically expand its programs and services, attracting more than 2,000 visitors of all ages every day. 

“The Cambridge Public Library is a magnificent twenty-first century building that seamlessly incorporates the original 1888 landmark. The historic stone building and the new glass stand side by side as a study in contrast, although they are united by materials and colors.” 


5 photos

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