Auburn Public Library

© Brian Vanden Brink

2007 Maine State Historic Preservation Award

Location
Auburn, ME
Size
38,000 sf
Scope
A major addition and complete renovation to the historic library, restoration of many of the original library spaces and materials
Design Team (as part of Burt Hill)
Ed Bourget, Project Manager
Library Planner
Richard Smith, Adams & Smith
Contractor
H.E. Callahan

The Auburn Public Library has been a landmark in downtown Auburn since 1904. Designed by William Miller of Portland, it is a romantic Richarsonian building with turrets, dormers and Flemish bond brickwork. Later additions and renovations have been made, but by the 1990’s the need for a substantial addition was apparent. A 1998 study by Nolan Lushington identified a need for more than double the space available.

The final design expands the building to 30,000 square feet. The 1956 addition was removed, and an extensive new addition provides open plan space arranged around a central browsing area along a north/south axis. The browsing collection, Children’s Room and fiction are housed in the addition, and a periodicals reading room and the meeting room occupy the original building. The second floor houses Reference and non-fiction, with the administrative offices and the historical collection in the old building. Meeting rooms and a café are on the ground floor.

The exterior recalls and defers to the architecture of the original building. New arcaded entrances open to Spring Street and to a new rear parking lot, and the Children’s Room wing presents a playful response to the original façade on Court Street.

© Brian Vanden Brink
© Brian Vanden Brink
© Brian Vanden Brink