Skip to content

Construction Administration Roundtable


Image: CBT

  • COST

    Free and open to the public

  • TYPE




CBT Tour - Woburn Public Library

We are very pleased to offer a chance to tour the new addition to the historic Woburn Public Library by CBT.

The Woburn Public Library was designed by H.H. Richardson in 1876 and opened in 1879. Most of the funding, original artwork, and artifacts were provided by the very prominent Winn family of Woburn. The building was constructed by the Norcross Brothers Inc. for roughly $95,000……about 5.50/sf. Original building is about 17,500 GSF.

The Library trustees have been working with the Mass Board of Library Commissioners for over 20 years trying to secure funding for this project with many starts and stops along the way. Shepley Bulfinch worked with the Woburn library board of trustees in the late 1990s developing schemes and materials for pricing and MBLC funding applications. Ann Beha’s office was commissioned with some of the restoration work in early 2000. In 2006 the library board of trustees opened up the project to an international competition helping to raise awareness and enthusiasm once again for the project. The project was shelved for a few years after the competition and re-opened in 2009 to several firms invited for interviews. CBT, SBRA, Ann Beha, William Rawn were invited to interview. CBT worked on the project for a few months in 2009 before the project went on hold again. The project ultimately picked back up in 2012 and was pushed ahead to completion..

A few project highlights:

  • Existing Building square footage: 17,500 GSF - about 8,300 net. Many spaces in the attic are not usable…low efficiency
  • New Addition GSF: 30,000
  • Construction Cost: 25,500,000.
  • Major Program Elements:

    -New Children’s Library
    -New Community Room
    -New Archives
    -New Teen Space
    -New Adult Reading Room
    -New Staff Spaces

  • Project Highlights/ Issues:

    -Cutting original stone to create new connections
    -Expansion joints between old and new
    -Waterproofing around exterior courtyard
    -Materials: Stone harvested from original quarry…glass curtainwall and light create a spatial joint between new and old.
    -Mass Historic Process: Project was originally not approved by Mass Historic…we made a few adjustments.
    -Architectural Identity: keeping the identity of the original building while creating a new sense of place
    -Project brings a new relevance to existing parts of the original building.

1.5 LU AIA credits are available.