Newark, New Jersey

Newark Public Library
Philip Roth Personal Library

Our design for a historic space in the circa 1898 Newark Public Library creates a new research and exhibition center, the Philip Roth Personal Library, capturing the author’s engagement with reading, writing, and with Newark, his native city.

The double-height room is restored and upgraded with new electrical, fire protection, climate control, and LED lighting systems. Period details—plaster molding, pilasters, wainscoting, and double doors —are repaired and restored, returning the room to its original luster. A broad range of design options, critiqued with library staff and exhibit designers, led to the final spatial organization that places a flexible exhibition area at one end and a studio-like reading room at the other.

Newark Public Library
Completed 2021
Project Size
Restoration & Renovation | 1,500 GSF
Library, Exhibition
“This beautiful space, thoughtfully designed by Ann Beha Architects [now Annum] and the entire team, encourages exploration and fresh thinking. Programming developed specifically for the Philip Roth Personal Library will examine different perspectives, challenge norms, and provide insights into how literature often reflects or predicts current realities, much as Roth did through his novels.”
— Joslyn Bowling Dixon, Director of the Newark Public Library
Ann Beha Architects, now Annum Architects
Project Team
Thomas M. Hotaling AIA, Ann M. Beha FAIA, David Elzer AIA, Ric Panciera AIA (ABA/Annum); C&G Partners (Exhibit Design); Legacy Engineers (MEP / FP Engineering); Silman (Structural Engineering); Hadley Exhibits Inc. (Exhibit Case & Shelving Fabrication); Lightcraft (Lighting Design); Shawmut Design and Construction (Construction Management); Michael Moran (Photography)