About The Library

Enoch Pratt Free Library/State Library Resource Center Library Renovation

Pratt Restoration Series: Episode 3: Hidden Details

Learn how the past is preserved while Central Library’s infrastructure is updated in episode 3 of the Pratt Restoration Series.

For more videos, check out the Pratt Restoration Series on YouTube.

The Renovation is underway!

Central Library/State Library Resource Center, 400 Cathedral Street

The scaffolding is up, but all our services are still intact as something spectacular happens inside the Central Library/State Library Resource Center.

  • A protected pedestrian walkway surrounds the building.
  • A raised platform is up in Central Hall for workers restoring windows and painting.
  • The circulation desk and public computers are now in the Business, Science and Technology Department.

Magazines and articles: Please allow 24-48 hours turnaround time for requests.

Why we are renovating?

The renovation will preserve the past and position the Enoch Pratt Free Library to serve all Marylanders in the future. With more than half a million visitors each year, the state-of-the-art renovations to the Central Library will improve the building’s infrastructure and increase opportunities for learning, research, creativity and civic engagement. It will complement the Pratt’s significant print collection with the latest technologies, welcoming a vibrant future while preserving a cherished historic landmark.

Impact on services

4 interior photos, spring 2017

The Central Library will remain open throughout the renovation, though some things will move around to accommodate construction. The renovation is expected to be completed in 2019.

Renovation highlights

"My library shall be for all, rich and poor without distinction of race or color." – Enoch Pratt

New and improved spaces

  • More public library space than is currently available.
    • Expanded training/conference facilities
    • More multi-purpose spaces
  • "Creation Stations" to fuel creative learning
  • New Teen and Young Adult wing
  • Expanded and restored children’s department
  • Restored majesty of the Central Hall to make it a "Town Hall"
  • Designated Job/Career Center
Section Perspective

Technology upgrades

  • "Technology Take-out" collections
  • More public computers
  • Up to date and integrated audio-visual equipment

Safer, up-to-date facilities

  • Family restrooms
  • Refinished historic furniture
  • New heating, cooling, fire protection, lighting, security and information technology systems
  • Catering support
Central Hall Children's Department Creation Station Job and Career Center Wheeler Auditorium Multi-Purpose Room
Central Hall, Children's Department, Creation Station,
Job and Career Center, Wheeler Auditorium, Multi-Purpose Room

"The purpose of the renovation project is to preserve the past and position the Central Library/State Library Resource Center to serve Marylanders in the future."

Who is doing the Renovation?

The project is under the supervision of the Maryland State Department of General Services, with funding from the State of Maryland, City of Baltimore and generosity of private donors to the Enoch Pratt Renovation campaign.

Ayers/Saint/Gross is managing the renovation of the historic Central Library that will be designed by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects of New York.

Managing architects

Ayers/Saint/Gross is an award-winning multi-disciplinary architecture firm that was established in Baltimore in 1912 under the name of Sill, Buckler & Fenhagen. In continuous practice since then, the firm later became Ayers/Saint and, in the 1980’s, Ayers/Saint/Gross. With a focus on higher education ASG works internationally. In the 1980’s ASG worked with the Enoch Pratt Free Library on the design and construction of the four mezzanines at the first floor. This relationship continued in the 1990’s with the development of the Parts I and II Facilities Program submissions, the Meyerhoff Children’s Garden and the 50,000 square foot Annex, which opened in 2003.

Lead architects

Beyer Blinder Belle is an award-winning architecture, planning and interior design practice of 155 professionals in New York and Washington, DC, with recognized expertise in historic preservation and its role in maintaining the urban fabric of our cities. The firm has guided the restoration of many significant buildings and sites,including Grand Central Terminal, New York City Hall, and the Maryland State House Old House of Delegates’ Chamber.


Let us know what you think

Email us: info@prattlibrary.org

Support the Renovation

If you would like to join with other generous private donors by making a contribution to the renovation please make a donation today!