Enoch Pratt Free Library

Baltimore, MD

The iconic main branch of Baltimore’s public library system, opened in 1933, with a grand chamber & artwork.  The original building of the Enoch Pratt Free Library was razed in 1931.In 1933, the current building was built by Clyde N. Friz in the Beaux-Arts style. Friz’s design was innovative as he implemented traditional styles with new materials and techniques, making the Enoch Pratt Free Library the crown jewel of his portfolio.

In the Spring of 2016, ground was broken on a $115 million restoration of the historic Central Library. EverGreene is currently restoring and conserving Enoch Pratt. Work includes historic finishes investigations, decorative painting and plaster repair, metal and wood refinishing and historic paint conservation.

In September and October of 2016 and in March of 2017, EverGreene completed an investigation of decorative finishes located in the Team Learning and Leadership Room (Room 206) at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland. The investigation included exposing underlying decorative finishes, taking paint samples for off-site microscopic analysis, and matching colors in-situ.

Using historic images of the room, EverGreene conservators were able to complete exposure windows at areas with underlying historic decorative paint. While it was confirmed large areas of the original ceiling were lost at the recessed light locations, the exposure windows were able to provide us with a good understanding of the original design, as well as a cohesive color palette. Where paint exposures were not feasible, we manually retrieved samples, which were then analyzed under microscope to determine colors and finishes.

The building remains open to the public. The construction project will be completed in phases with the restoration expected to be complete in the Summer of 2019.