National Library Week: 5 Notable Libraries by Finegold Alexander Architects

We're celebrating by sharing some of our most notable library projects across Massachusetts!

April 6, 2021
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Happy National Library Week! We've been designing libraries across New England and beyond for over 50 years. This week, we're giving you an inside look at some of our most interesting and notable library projects from the last decade. Keep reading to learn more and click on the project titles to head it's page.

Horn Library, Babson College, Wellesley, MA

The renovations at Horn Library began as a relatively modest Phase 1 project, adding more seating and quiet study space to the library; improving light levels; and upgrading finishes, thereby enhancing the student’s library experience. Following the completion of these renovations, Finegold Alexander was invited to design a new Resource Center and a dramatic new 10,000-square-foot Commons addition.

Centrally located at the ground level, the Resource Center offers students a dynamic learning environment with faculty and peer support for their speech, writing, and math pursuits. With these interventions Horn Library has become a hub of campus activity, providing state-of-the-art facilities for research, innovation, and learning.

Stoughton Public Library, Stoughton, MA

With an increasing population and expansive book collection that was 100,000 books over the building's capacity, Stoughton Public Library was in dire need of an expansion in 2018. Finegold Alexander's design doubled the scale of the library and created a universally accessible, outward facing facility. The new design took its cues from the original trussed roof monitor and stairway while incorporating energy-efficient systems, building materials, and finishes.

Stoughton Public Library is now home to meeting spaces for library programs and community use, a Children's Area with craft and story hour space, a dedicated young adult space, enhanced security, and updated technology systems.

Jones Public Library, Amherst, MA

Finegold Alexander has been tasked with shepherding the beloved but now outdated Jones Library facility—originally designed by Putnam & Cox in 1928—into its next century of service. Front and center in this endeavor are issues of sustainability: what strategies can be used to reduce levels of energy consumption of the existing historic building, and can a new addition be designed in a way that will minimize the environmental impact of an expanded facility?

Team members Beth Pearcy, Ellen Anselone and Rebecca Berry tackled these very questions in their recent Sustainability Goals Schematic Design Report for Jones Library in Amherst, Massachusetts. Their insights are highlighted here.

Holyoke Public Library, Holyoke, MA

Holyoke’s beautiful and historic Greek Revival library had served many generations, but lacked sufficient space, functionality and access for the community. To extend the life of this valued community treasure, Finegold Alexander conducted an extensive engagement process - resulting in the design of a striking, transparent addition to the renovated historic structure by an open, contemporary stair symbolizing the library’s welcoming and accessible transformation.

Christa McAuliffe Branch Library, Framingham, MA

The library celebrates teacher Christa McAuliffe, the educator-astronaut whose life was tragically cut short in the Challenger space shuttle disaster. Inspired by her spirit, Finegold Alexander’s design creates a soaring roof in the shape of a wing, lifting over the main reading areas. Spaces for community gathering, quiet reading and learning more than tripled the scale of the original branch library. Daylit spaces infused with technology enhance and reflect the library’s mission of engagement with patrons in their quest for knowledge and learning.