The Entirely Renovated Boston Public Library Will Debut in July
After three years and $78 million, the final phase of the Boston Public Library’s renovation is coming to a close.
That means, of course, a celebration is in order. A grand reopening ceremony on July 9 will reveal the new and improved Central Library in Copley Square. It’s the last part of the BPL renovation to be unveiled.
The renovation project has sought to revitalize areas of the Johnson building, one of two buildings that make up the library. In addition to strengthening the connection between the Johnson building (built in 1972) and the McKim building (built in 1895), the project has sought to bring the BPL visitor experience into the 21st century.
The renovation has consisted of two phases. The first was completed in February 2015 and boasts several colorful youth-oriented spaces on the second floor of the Johnson building, including a new Children’s Library, a tween corner, and “Teen Central.” The second and final phase to be unveiled next month includes updates to the lower level, first floor, mezzanine, and the exterior of the Johnson building.
“This is one of the most significant milestones in Boston Public Library history,” said the BPL’s Chair of the Board of the Trustees Robert E. Gallery in a statement, “The Central Library Renovation has greatly expanded the offerings for people of all ages, as this library has truly been transformed.”
Visitors can expect to see a new retail space at the corner of Boylston and Exeter Streets that will encompass a new café and a WGBH News satellite studio. Other improvements include an enlarged fiction section, a digital imaging suite, a revamped lecture hall, and an area to explore the BPL’s digital stacks.
From the outside, patrons will notice that the dark-tinted windows of the Johnson building will be gloomy no longer. Instead, they’ll be brighter and taller, as those large, pesky granite plinths, or square-shaped pedestals, will be removed from street-level.
The library will be closed on Thursday, July 7 and Friday, July 8 in preparation for the reopening on Saturday, July 9. Mayor Marty Walsh is scheduled to commemorate the opening with a ribbon cutting at 10:30 a.m. More information is available at bpl.org.