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civic + cultural

Auburn Public Library Addition and Renovation

While at Burt Hill, Saam principal Ed Bourget worked with library planner Adams & Smith on the Auburn Public Library, a landmark in downtown Auburn since 1904. Designed by William Miller of Portland, it is a romantic Richardsonian building with turrets, dormers, and Flemish bond brickwork. Later additions and renovations had been made but the need for a substantial addition was apparent by the 1990s. 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 cafe 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 facade on Court Street.

2007 Maine State Historic Preservation Award

  • Location:

    Auburn, ME

  • Completion:

    2007

  • Size:

    38,000 sf