Expanded West Springfield Library Opens

CENTERBROOK, Conn. – Nearly a century after it was first dedicated, the newly expanded West Springfield Public Library opened to the community on January 11. Centerbrook, with Caolo & Bieniek Associates and Adams & Smith Architects, designed its restoration and expansion.

The original 1916 building, funded by industrialist Andrew Carnegie, now serves as a reading room. A new wedge-shaped, high-ceilinged public welcoming lobby links it to a two-story addition clad in blonde brick that houses the majority of the library’s services.

“We worked hard to subtly juxtapose the new with the old,” said Centerbrook’s Charles Mueller, AIA. “With its understated details, the addition, we hope, serves as a quiet backdrop to the historic building.”

The addition features large expanses of heat-rejecting glass to infuse the interiors with natural light and provide views inside and out. Its main collection area has a variety of areas for reading and study. Lit throughout with energy-efficient LED lighting, it also houses children’s and young adult rooms, a 150-seat community room, a local history room, a language education room, and a computer lab.

A decorative window grille designed and fabricated by the renowned Kent Bloomer Studio adorns a prominent window in the lobby. A decorative frieze around the service desk complements Bloomer’s artful design.

The new facility will be officially dedicated on April 2, 2016, exactly 100 years after the original Carnegie building opened to the public.