River Forest Public Library   
River Forest, Illinois
Addition & Historic Renovation

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The existing English "Manor House/Tudor" historic landmark building of 6,000 square feet is totally renovated and restored, and a 9,000 square foot addition was linked to the historic building in a way that maintains the integrity of the original building. Work included tuckpointing and masonry repairs and restoration, reproduction of historic woodwork, plaster work, integration of new graphics and lighting, reconstruction of existing light fixtures, reproduction of cork ceiling stenciling to match existing, re-lamping of existing lighting with high-intensity discharge, and new HVAC and electrical systems. The project was reviewed by the State of Illinois' Historic Preservation Office and lauded for its sensitive preservation of the existing building and adaptive reuse.

This historic landmark building, Carnegie prototypical library was designed by William Drummond in 1929. The building was lifted five feet off the ground and new foundation walls were poured. Raising the building preserved the existing structure and modernized it at the same time. Higher ceilings on the lower level permitted installation of modern electrical, heat, and air systems. Lifting the building allowed handicapped accessibility through the main entrance and the placement of a new elevator in the new addition linked to the original building with a glass atrium.

The lobby contains the new circulation desk with inlaid brass and ivory that followed a 1929 stair detail, and entrances to the large community room, offices, staff lounge, and kitchen, as well as a continuation into the new addition. The terrazzo floor of the lobby has a multi-colored pattern with a logo for the library that came from the upper floor lighting fixtures.

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