On October 24, the Illinois chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) presented the Newberry Library and Ann Beha Architects (ABA) with the 2019 Crombie Taylor Award for Preservation and Restoration. The award recognizes the Newberry’s recent first-floor renovation for the dynamic ways it celebrates the architectural heritage of the library while introducing new design elements that enhance visitors’ experiences with Newberry collections and staff.
Since re-opening the renovated spaces in the fall of 2018, the Newberry has seen a surge of activity on its first floor, including a 45 percent increase in visitors signing up for reader cards in the new Herget Welcome Center.
“The Newberry’s renovated first floor reflects our values as an independent research library that is free and open to everyone,” said Newberry President and Librarian Daniel Greene. “Through restoration and redesign, ABA realized our vision for creating a more welcoming, engaging environment that amplifies the Newberry’s history and connects visitors with our collections in new exhibition galleries. We are honored to receive the Crombie Taylor Award from AIA Illinois in recognition of the success of this renovation project.”
During the award ceremony, held at the Newberry, AIA Board President Terence Moeller presented the Crombie Taylor Award to Ann Beha, Steven Gerrard, and Ian Miller of ABA as well as to Newberry President Daniel Greene and former Newberry President David Spadafora, who led the library through the renovation in 2018.
In accepting the award on behalf of the architects, Ann Beha, ABA principal, noted the Newberry’s rich architectural legacy and the importance of extending a cultural institution’s civic purpose into the future.
Steven Gerrard, principal of ABA, spoke to the personal and professional fulfillment he experienced throughout the project. “Advancing the Newberry’s mission through renewed design has been one of the highlights of my career,” said Gerrard.