The $115 million renovation of Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library completes

Beyer Blinder Belle led the project.

September 18, 2019 |
Enoch Pratt Free Library exterior

All photos: Joseph Romeo Photography

Originally built in 1933, Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library/State Library Resource Center (EPFL) has recently undergone a $115 million renovation project. The project’s goals were to prioritize digital fluency, collaboration, learning, and creation.

The 290,000-sf building’s Central Hall was fitted with sound and video projection equipment to transform the space into a “Town Hall.” New spaces such as the Teen Wing, the Creative Arts Center, and the Job and Career Center were adapted within existing areas with a contemporary design language that complements the original interior. New conference rooms, staff offices, and workstations were also created.

 

Enoch Pratt Free Library interior after restorationsCentral Hall.

 

Throughout the building’s interior historic materials and finishes such as plaster, millwork, and terrazzo were restored and decorative metal elements and paintings were brought back to their original state. Fluorescent lighting installed in the 1950s was replaced with energy-efficient lighting but the historic light fixtures in public areas were restored or, in some cases, replicated. MEP and life-safety systems were also replaced and installed in discreet ways that were minimally disruptive to the building.

 

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The building’s exterior also underwent renovations; the leaking roof was replaced, steel-framed windows were restored, and the limestone walls were cleaned and repointed. Ayers Saint Gross worked with Beyer Blinder Belle on the project.

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