GOLD COAST — The Newberry Library will spend $11 million renovating its first floor next year, adding a new gallery and expanding its bookstore as it looks to "foster new connections" with visitors.
The six-month project will begin in January after city approval last week. The research library at 60 W. Walton St. has been free and open to the public since 1887, specializing in books, maps and manuscripts related to American and European culture.
"We are not just strengthening this community bond but providing our visitors with new opportunities for engaging with our collections, our staff, and other readers and lifelong learners," Newberry President David Spadafora said in a statement.
The library will add a new information center, a permanent gallery showcasing collection highlights, a seminar room and flexible event spaces, according to a press release. Other "thematic" galleries will be redesigned.
The Newberry said it will also move and expand its bookstore as well as add new landscaping and remove fencing by its entrance near Washington Square Park. The bookstore will be closed during the renovation and reopen in June 2018, the library said.
The library said it has already raised 40 percent of the $11 million renovation cost, which will be funded by private donors. Ann Beha Architects is leading the renovation.
Check out more renderings of the new-and-improved Newberry Library below:
A redesigned "thematic" gallery [All renderings provided]
The library's bookstore will be moved and expanded.
A rendering of a new bookstore lounge
The library will add a new permanent display of collection highlights.
A redesigned "thematic" gallery
A new information center
The Newberry Library as seen from Washington Square Park. [DNAinfo/David Matthews]