Chicago’s Whitney M. Young, Jr. Branch Library reopened its doors to residents on Thursday following a year-long gut rehab and 2,500-square-foot expansion at the corner of 79th Street and King Drive in the South Side neighborhood of Chatham.
Costing roughly $12 million, the project preserved the walls and square coffered ceilings of the existing modernist building and added new amenities such as computers, multipurpose rooms, a recording studio, early learning play space, and a fabrication lab with 3D printers.
Congratulations today to Mitchell Smith, @6thWardChicago , @ChicagosMayor , the Chatham community and @chipublib on the reopening of the Whitney Young CPL branch.#Libraries are palaces for the people. Future leaders will emerge from the Whitney Young Library, 79th & King Drive. pic.twitter.com/DAwxmGNNlY— My Block, My Hood, My City (@mbmhmc) January 10, 2019
The overhaul also revamped the building’s central courtyard and brought full ADA accessibility and energy efficient mechanical systems and lighting to the neighborhood library.
Whitney Young’s fresh look comes from bKL Architecture and architect of record Johnson & Lee. bKL’s Danielle Tillman, a South Side native, served as lead project architect and joined Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to cut the ribbon on the revamped Whitney Young branch.
According to a statement from the city, Chicago invested over $200 million in library buildings and services since 2011. Notable projects include the recent rehab of Bronzeville’s Chicago Bee Branch as well as a trio of new developments that “co-locate” Chicago Public Library branches with affordable-rate apartments.
- Chicago’s Whitney Young Library begins $12 million makeover [Curbed Chicago]