Click on thumbnail to see Plans of the New Library.
The Canton Public Library was a bequest from Mr.
and Mrs. Augustus Hemenway of Canton in 1901. It is located in the center
of the downtown, with excellent access to public transportation and parking
for 27 cars.
The 2.4 acre site has a good deal of topographic variation, with exposed ledge in a number of areas, and
pleasant landscaping. The original building is a Carnegie style design, with reading rooms flanking a central rotunda and desk. Closed stacks were in a block to the rear. In 1962, an extensive addition was built,
expanding the library to the present 17,200 gross square feet.
In recent years, increased demand for services
has overtaxed the existing facility, and Town facilities survey
of 1995 has identified the need for expansion simply to provide accessibility. In 1998 the Library Director and Trustees developed a Building Program which has identified a need to double the present space. Stahl Associates was engaged to take the program and create a design for the expansion of the Library.
Working closely with the program, a three level addition scheme has been developed, with massing articulated to maintain the scale of the original building. The site design greatly expands the parking, bringing it further into the site and creating new accessible routes to new entrances. The proposed architectural design expands the existing building towards the rear. It centers around a new entrance arcade at the south side of the building which incorporates a ramp to the new, accessible main entrance. Beyond the arcade is the new Reference Room, which is placed at an angle to the original building. The parking wraps around this and slopes down the back of the site to provide an accessible entrance to the Junior Library on the ground floor. Book stacks, Young Adults, Computer Services, and staff areas comprise the balance of the addition on the first and second floors; the balance of the ground floor of the addition houses the Community Room and related facilities. The original main entrance is retained, and the original reading rooms will be restored as browsing and reading areas.
The new entrance gallery can double as an art gallery, and the configuration places the elevator and stairs to allow the meeting room facilities to be used at times when the rest of the building is closed. Adjacent to the Meeting Room is the interior entrance to the Junior Library, which occupies the southwest corner of the building and is visible from the parking areas. The Circulation Desk faces both the old and new main entrances, with good site lines into the entry areas and into the Adult Services areas. The Reference area forms the center of the Adult Services wing, with the Reading Room and public stacks beyond. The exterior is finished in brick, limestone, and copper roofs to harmonize with the original library. The roof forms echo those of the old building, with the massing and details developed to preserve the position of the original library as the centerpiece of the composition.
Space allocations and adjacency relationships have been developed from the building program; a summary of program and design areas follows. Long range expansion is feasible at the rear of the adult services wing.
The entire project will be developed with energy conservation in mind; new systems will replace the existing heating plant, and new lighting will be installed throughout. Materials will be selected for durability and minimal maintenance. The schematic design has been developed with the clearances required by the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the final design will also comply with these requirements.
An independent cost estimate has been prepared by Anadac for the design as proposed. Based on the drawings and outline specifications, they project a construction cost of $4,911,762. This includes building construction costs at $129.04/sf, and sitework at $ 10.46/sf. To this must be added fees, contingencies, furniture, shelving, equipment and administrative costs. With these, the recommended library project budget, in 1998 dollars, is $6,551,262.
©canton public library