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Boston Public Library Central Library Renovation | Honoring History with Hungarian Travertine

Boston Public Library, Central Library Renovation

Architect: William Rawn Associates

Client: City of Boston
Location: Boston, MA

Stone: Hungarian Travertine

The Central Library Renovation project at the Boston Public Library, was led by architectural and design firm, William Rawn Associates. Working closely with the City of Boston and the Boston Public Library, this project revitalized the Boylston Street Building (formerly Johnson Building) from a solid and inward-focused "bunker" into an inviting, transparent, and engaging hub for learning and community interaction.

One of the key considerations in the design process was the selection of stone that would honor the historical legacy of the McKim Mead & White portion of the building, which featured the original Giallo Sienna marble. Simultaneously, the architects aimed to introduce a contemporary element in the Phillip Johnson section of the library, creating a harmonious blend of past and present.

After careful deliberation, the final stone selection for this project was a honed Hungarian Travertine. This choice pays homage to the original yellow Italian marble, establishing a clear connection to the library's historical roots. At the same time, the travertine embodies a contemporary sensibility that resonates with the library's modern functions, such as housing a radio station and fostering social activities.

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