Maryland Historical Society Library Renovation

Cultural, Award Winning, Historic

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During the design and construction of the new gallery wing for the Maryland Historical Society, Ziger/Snead was asked to provide design services for the renovation of the Thomas and Hugg building library expansion.  By converting former galleries on the second floor of the building into library space it was possible to double the square footage.  The Historical Society wished to bring the library into the 21st century while respecting and refurbishing the original design of the space.  The Main Reading Room has been meticulously restored to resemble its original and grand 1917 appearance, including new finishes, restored historic light fixtures, wireless computer networking, additional seating in the Main Reading space and expanded Special Collections Reading Rooms.  New spaces include areas for patrons to enjoy such as the Multimedia Center, two galleries devoted solely to the exhibition of Library collections, and the Student Research Center. The library entry was reconfigured.

In the new Library, there are larger and more comfortable areas where people can conduct research, better storage facilities that allow library staff to research and retrieve collections more effectively and efficiently, and new areas for patrons to enjoy such as the Multimedia Center, two galleries devoted solely to the exhibition of Library collections, and the Student Research Center. The Main Reading Room has been meticulously restored to resemble its original and grand 1917 appearance, including new finishes throughout, restored historic light fixtures, wireless computer networking that visitors can access from anywhere in the space, and seating in the Main Reading and Special Collections Reading Rooms has been greatly expanded.

It was the design team's intention to upgrade the technology in the library while at the same time making the main reading room space appear less modern. The renovated space includes finishes inspired by the original color scheme, historic light fixtures restored to include highly efficient, long life lamps, and wireless computer networking that can be accessed anywhere in the space. The library entry was reconfigured to better serve as a transition between the modern addition and the historic structure.

Facts

Owner: Maryland Historical Society

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Construction Cost: $300,000

Completion: 2003

Awards

  • 2004 Regional Award of Merit — International Illumination Design Awards