Stevens Memorial Library
North Andover, MA

New reading room

The Stevens Memorial Library was designed by Guy Lowell in 1904 and added to in 1962. It presented an Italianate front to Main Street, and centered on a round reading room with views of the North Common. The preservation of these views was critical to developing an acceptable design to double the size of the library.

The addition created 10,000 square feet of new, flexible space. Its open plan is articulated into three major elements, which follow the radial geometry of the old building, acccented with two towers facing the Common. The east tower over the entrance contains a clock which has become a local landmark. The tiled hip roofs and panelled brick walls continue the materials and details of the original building, and large windows on the curving wall of the new reading Room give views of the Common. The original reading Room now houses Special Collections.

The ground floor entrance opens into a broad corridor with the Children’s Room and the Meeting Room to either side. Ahead, a new stair and elevator connect to the circulation desk in the historic building and the original entrance. The rotunda reading room is preserved, and a skylight at the juncture of old and new maintains the daylight in the space.

(Richard Smith was Project Architect for Stahl Associates with Frank Adams as Library Planner)

Cost: $2,120,000
Area: 19,500 Sq Ft

Category: Libraries