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New in the Neighborhood: BPL Renovation


The City of Boston has funded a full renovation of the Johnson Building in the Central Library of the Boston Public Library. The renovation was designed by William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc. and complements the original design by Phillip Johnson in 1972. The new Johnson buildings plan is more open than the previous layout, and welcomes in natural light from Boylston Street. Walls in the lobby have been completely removed or replaced with translucent glass to offer a more bright and inviting entrance.

Compared to the old, less-welcoming design, the renovation aims to bring in more visitors and patrons. Beyond the design, the BPL has responded to the new technological wave by adding new computers and even a 3D printer.


The BPL President David Leonard explains, Society is changing rapidly, the role of libraries in society is changing, and we have to adapt and be responsive to those needs in a way that is different than 20 or 30 years ago.

The renovation also covered the Rabb lecture hall. Above is the new hall, beautifully refurbished.

Sources and more information can be found here and here.

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