Boston Public Library Will House a WGBH Satellite Studio and New Café

The new spaces will be built on the first floor of the central branch's Johnson Building in Copley Square.

johnson building

The BPL’s Johnson Building / Photo by Olga Khvan

The Boston Public Library is forging a new partnership with WGBH.

Today, the BPL’s board of trustees approved a proposal by the public broadcaster that would build a WGBH News satellite bureau and studio, as well as a new café, on the first floor of the central branch’s Johnson Building. WGBH is collaborating with the Catered Affair, a local catering company that already operates the BPL’s Courtyard Restaurant and Map Room Café, on the plan.

“This creative partnership adds to the Boston Public Library’s mission, offers a wealth of opportunities for new library programming while animating an anchor space here at Copley,” said David Leonard, the BPL’s interim president, in a press release.

WGBH’s satellite news bureau will take over 800 square feet of the Johnson Building and will primarily focus on radio offerings, while also featuring an anchor desk for filming live TV broadcasts and pre-taped segments.

The Newsfeed Café, meanwhile, will take over 4,500 square feet of space. It will feature a coffee shop, as well as casual food offerings throughout the day, including breakfast, lunch, and small plates. Additionally, the space will be used for catered events and other public functions hosted both during and outside of regular library hours.

The new retail space is part of the BPL’s ongoing renovation of the Johnson Building, and is slated for a summer 2016 opening.

Last summer, the library unveiled a completed first phase of the renovation effort, featuring remodeled spaces for children, teens, and the nonfiction collection.