Chicago, Illinois

Newberry Library
Phase One

The Newberry Library is a world-renowned research institution offering an expansive collection of rare books, maps, music, and manuscripts spanning six centuries. Our Master Plan sets up a restoration and renovation strategy for the entire 237,000 GSF building. A completed first phase of restoration and renovation focuses on welcoming visitors and showcasing collections.

New landscaping and exterior lighting of the building’s central trio of arches announce the Library on the street. A digital kiosk offers program information to passers-by and modifications to the main entrance make the building accessible. Inside, historic finishes and materials on the first floor are restored, and an improved visitor orientation area, a bookstore, and program spaces are created. A new gallery displays changing exhibitions and a 30-foot long built-in climate-controlled case showcases treasures from the Newberry’s collections. These renovations and new seminar spaces for public scholarly programs support the Newberry’s goals for innovation, accessibility, and engagement.

The Newberry Library
Completed 2018
Project Size
Restoration & Renovation | 23,000 GSF
Visitor Services, Exhibition, Education, Book Store
AIA Illinois Crombie Taylor Honor Award
Chicago Building Congress Renovation and Adaptive Reuse Award
The main lobby of the Newberry Lobby welcomes visitors and scholars to the library. Enhancements include new wayfinding graphics and lighting, as well as restored historic materials and finishes. The lobby also connects directly to a new thematic gallery creating easy access to changing exhibitions.
The new thematic gallery provides flexible exhibition space with museum-quality illumination and climate control, while restored windows offer views of the park.

Our Process

Ann Beha Architects, now Annum Architects
Project Team
Ann M. Beha FAIA, Steven Gerrard AIA, Thomas M. Hotaling AIA, Ian Miller AIA, Rita Terjeki AIA, Ric Panciera AIA, Ashley Merchant AIA, George Faber AIA, Carl Damas, Amit Oza AIA, Stacey Woodworth, Maria Tillakos (ABA/Annum); Thornton Tomasetti (Structural); dbHMS (MEP); Wolff Landscape Architecture (Landscape); Schuler Shook (Lighting); Thirst (Environmental Graphics); Jensen Hughes (Code / Security); Wil-Spec (Specifications); Brush Architects (Building Documentation); Bulley & Andrews (Construction Management); AVA Consultants (Owner’s Project Manager); Tom Rossiter (Photography)