Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Boston Public Library announced this week that the grand reopening of the Central Library Renovation will take place Saturday, July 9, and will be commemorated with a 10:30 a.m. ribbon cutting.
The grand reopening will celebrate the completion of the second and final phase of the renovation of the Central Library in Copley Square, which has been managed by the City of Boston’s Public Facilities Department. This second phase of work includes updates to the lower level, first floor, mezzanine, and the building exterior of the Johnson building, which opened in 1972. The Central Library Renovation puts the Boston Public Library on the cutting edge of library services – reshaping and redefining the patron experience at a 21st Century urban public library.
The Central Library in Copley Square will be closed on Thursday, July 7, and Friday, July 8, to prepare and train staff in the updated spaces, and will reopen on Saturday, July 9, following the ribbon cutting.
“The reopening of the Central Library’s Johnson building ensures a bright future for all who seek educational opportunities through utilizing the services of this grand civic space,” said Mayor Walsh. “I am grateful to all who contributed to this project and I am confident library patrons and visitors will love the enhancements.”
Highlights of the second phase of the renovation include removal of the granite plinths that covered the Johnson building windows – reconnecting the building to the street, a revamped lecture hall for author talks and programming, a new innovation center, new Mac and Windows computers for the public computing area, a hi-tech community learning center, an enlarged Fiction section and new ways of book browsing, digital stacks to explore the BPL’s digitized collections, a state-of-the art Welcome Center, a digital imaging suite, and major landscape components along Boylston Street, including a civic table and new trees. The enterprise retail space at the corner of Boylston and Exeter Streets will feature The Newsfeed Café, opening mid-summer and operated by The Catered Affair, and a WGBH News satellite bureau and studio. Patrons will move seamlessly between the enterprise retail space and the Library.
The public can learn more about the Johnson building’s new features at www.bpl.org/bplreno.
“This is one of the most significant milestones in Boston Public Library history; the Central Library Renovation has greatly expanded the offerings for people of all ages, as this library has truly been transformed,” said Chair of the Board of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library Robert E. Gallery.
“The goal of the renovation was to reinvent both our building and our library services as inviting, dynamic, and modern, to be responsive to twenty first century urban civic life and to strengthen the Central Library and its connection to the City,” said David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library. “We are proud to welcome everyone, from near and far, to celebrate a new era of library service in Copley Square.”
The first phase of the renovation, which opened in February 2015, included a colorful Children’s Library with books and media, early literacy and story time space, a tween corner, and flexible program space; Teen Central, a distinctive and media-friendly space with books, digital lab, media lounge, a dedicated quiet zone, and homework and hangout booths; refreshed and reorganized nonfiction collections and reference services; and an adult reading area and workspace for individuals and groups.
The Central Library Renovation is a City of Boston capital project totaling $78 million. In addition to the City of Boston’s Public Facilities Department, the project team includes PMA Consultants as the Owner’s Project Manager, Consigli Construction Co., Inc. is the contractor, and the project architect is William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc.