The Newberry Library, one of Chicagos treasured landmarks, has completed renovations to enhance its public spaces and welcome visitors in new ways. As architect, Ann Beha Architects
work balances historic preservation with clear and memorable contemporary design.
A world-renowned research library, the Newberry offers an extensive collection of rare books, maps, and manuscripts, with material spanning six centuries. The building was designed by notable Chicago architect Henry Ives Cobb in Romanesque Revival style, and completed in 1893. By renovating its entrance level, the Newberry sought to make the impressive building more accessible and inviting, and to renew historic interior spaces, introducing visitor services and settings for exhibitions and programs.
ABAs design transforms public spaces and showcases the Librarys collections through its new exhibition galleries. Changes begin at the street, where new lighting, an information kiosk, and an accessible entry welcome the public. Inside, historic spaces have been restored, enhancing their rich details and providing new lighting and acoustical improvements. New spaces welcome and orient visitors, with amenities including an expanded bookstore, seminar and program spaces, and lounge. New galleries display thematic exhibitions, with a unique built-in display case highlighting notable items from the Newberrys collection on an ongoing basis.
Ann Beha Architects is engaged in contemporary design and in the preservation and adaptive re-use of landmark buildings. Based in Boston and practicing nationally, ABA has led planning and design projects for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; University of Chicago; the Smithsonian Institution; the US Department of State; and Yale University.