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Cleveland, Ohio

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The Lorain Branch Library is an historic Carnegie library and the ninth branch of the Cleveland Public Library system, serving its neighborhood since 1912. The branch is well-used but the main entrance fronting Lorain Avenue does not currently address surrounding neighborhood and patrons entering from West 83rd Street.

The interior will be renovated to include a relocated main service point in the center of the library where it was originally located in 1912. A north-south axis will be established through the space that connects the Lorain entrance to a new entry vestibule and community plaza on the north end of the building. Relocation of library departments in the building will improve flow, function, and provide clear sight lines throughout to new study rooms, café area, and restrooms. Staff areas (office, work and break rooms, restroom) will be consolidated to the first floor, allowing full accessibility.

A 963 SF addition on the west side of the building will house a multi-purpose space and study room to support technology programs as well as other flexible uses. A 24-hour vestibule will contain book lockers and a depository for afterhours pick-up and drop-off.

The new community plaza on West 83rd Street will include a fully accessible entry with a ramp, stair, bike rack, and an elevated plaza with tiered seating for library events and neighborhood gatherings – a communal “front porch.” These wide steps take their cues from the original Carnegie front steps as a new neighborhood connection on the northwest side. Updated signage, landscaping, and lighting will increase visibility to create a welcoming place. Further fostering neighborhood ties, a refreshed community garden and future greenhouse will be located on site.

The original stone and buffed brick of the façade is intact, and recently professionally cleaned. A composite stone panel material was chosen for the additions as a neutral material that will not compete with the existing structure. It unifies the concrete plaza / front porch steps without introducing another material type. Future plans include a mural above the new entry vestibule.


HBM | Design Architect, Interior Designer, Architect of Record


9,700 SF

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