Size: 19,000 SF
Client: Free Library of Philadelphia
Architect: James R. Keller / Vitetta

One of the primary goals of the Lillian Marrero Library project was to provide a clear and accessible street level entry into the building. Listed on the Philadelphia Historic Register, the existing building was constructed in 1906 as part of the Andrew Carnegie $1.5M grant to Philadelphia, and has a large set of stone stairs leading up to its elevated main floor. While impressive, these stairs are both imposing and difficult to navigate for the Library’s users. The new addition provides an ADA-compliant and user-friendly entry; once inside, an elevator in the addition leads the Library’s users and staff up one level to a Lobby and Café area which leads to the grand interior space of the original building.

The new addition is primarily transparent and provides a lively juxtaposition next to the existing Beaux Arts historic structure. The glass façade of the addition has ceramic frit design patterns which cast shadows on the polished concrete floor. New ADA-compliant toilet rooms were added in the lower level of the addition. The main space of the original building was completely renovated, including a refurbishment of the glazed laylight in the ceiling. Significant water damage to the plaster was repaired, and all systems and lighting were replaced and upgraded.

“The Free Library Foundation found INTECH to be a great partner, always responsive to our questions and needs as well as those of the community members in each neighborhood. Its staff is highly professional and was a pleasure to work with. We appreciate INTECH’s dedication to high-quality work.”

Sandra A. Horrocks Vice President, External Affairs, Parkway Central Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation

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