Brockton Public Library
The Brockton Public Library has been an imposing presence on Main Street since 1914. It remains one of the cornerstones of downtown Brockton, a city greatly in need of improvements to the public realm. The building had been almost unchanged since its completion, and the open stair dominating its center and the glass floored stack block presented many functional and life safety issues for a contemporary library.
The expansion project extends the building to the east along White Avenue, adding 28,000 square feet and renovating 18,000 square feet in the historic building. The original closed stack block was removed, and the expansive floors of the new addition provide open stacks for public access to the collections.
The exterior of the addition subtly updates the classical vocabulary of the original building, with tall windows and a rusticated stone base. The new accessible entrance is marked by a curved, freestanding portico; at the top a triangular window lights a new computer center. Inside, a broad stair brings the patron up to the main level at a skylit interior courtyard occupying the footprint of the old stack block and acting as an orienting element to the adult services on the first and second floors.
(Richard Smith was Project Architect for Burt Hill in the design phase)