Located in Savannah’s Victorian district, the Bull Street Library is the largest facility of the three-county library region. Prior to 1998, the Bull Street branch consisted of three distinctly different buildings: the original neo-classical Carnegie structure built in 1916; a 1936 stack addition; and a 1966 concrete-block addition that doubled its size to 32,500 square-feet.
The Library needed capital improvements including new and expanded services, space for growing collections, incorporation of new technologies and building systems upgrades. Our design more than doubled the existing the library and reconfigured space.
Patrons now enter through the fully accessible original Carnegie entrance. Its interior has been reorganized to house services appropriate to the classically styled spaces. At ground level, the former check-out area has been returned to a sky-lit grand foyer with public meeting spaces and a newly expanded Georgia history department.
The second floor contains the boardroom and administrative offices. New check-out, reference services, expanded public facilities and vertical circulation were added, while all historic spaces were enhanced with new architectural finishes appropriate to the period in which the library was built.
The new, two-story addition is attached to the north facade of the existing library. This wing houses a new children’s reading room on the lower level, adult services on the upper level, and a mezzanine for newspapers and magazines. New landscaping and public spaces integrate the two environments. To be compatible with the Carnegie structure, new construction is clad in cubic blocks of Georgia marble. Extensive fenestration and clerestory windows maximize the use of natural light and provide views of the park and the city.
CLIENT: Live Oak Public Libraries, Savannah
SIZE: 66,500 s.f. (including 34,000 s.f. addition)
COST: $6.7 million