“Visiting the library remains the most common cultural activity Americans engage in, by far.” The Literary Hub’s report recently confirmed that Americans visited libraries on average 10.5 times last year, surpassing eight other popular leisure activities, including going to the movies—who would have thought.
Libraries continue to play a central role for our diverse communities across the country, advancing literacy, providing access to technology, supporting personal productivity, cultural engagement, and community involvement. Less than a year ago we completed the historic restoration of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD, which earned the 2020 Baltimore Heritage Restoration & Rehabilitation Award. We take special pride in this historic preservation effort, ensuring libraries remain a vital source for education and inspiration for future generations.
Over the course of three years, we worked collaboratively with Beyer Blinder Belle Architects, Ayers Saint Gross, and Gilbane Building Company. A broad spectrum of historic conservation and restoration initiatives were performed in the rooms, lobbies, foyers, hallways, and stacks within the 300,000 square-foot building. Our general scope of work included historic finishes investigations, decorative painting, and plaster restoration. In 2019, the library celebrated its grand reopening.
Enoch Pratt Free Library is an extraordinary example of 20th century American Renaissance artistry and craftsmanship with its Neoclassical massing merged with French Art Deco-influenced metalwork. The project represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reinstate the original design intent while adding the 21st-century amenities—a massive effort to better serve its community. The library is a true destination, a space to be visited often and remembered forever!
ENOCH PRATT FREE LIBRARY: A BRIEF JOURNEY THROUGH THREE YEARS OF RESTORATION
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