About The Library

Enoch Pratt Free Library/State Library Resource Center Library Renovation

Central Library / State Library Resource 

Center, 400 Cathedral St.
Central Library/State Library Resource Center, 400 Cathedral Street

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

Enoch Pratt

The Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Central Library was designated by the Maryland General Assembly as the State Library Resource Center (SLRC) in 1971. It serves all Marylanders as well as government, academic, and cultural institutions throughout the state. SLRC provides internet service statewide including municipal agencies and school systems. The library collection including books, CDs, DVDs, unique and historic documents are available to all Maryland residents.

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.

Timeline and impact on services

The renovation is expected to be completed in 2018. The Central Library will remain open throughout the construction.

Periodicals bound for offsite storage

Magazines and articles: Please allow 24-48 hours turnaround time for requests for magazines and articles as we continue the renovation process.

Renovation highlights

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 HallChildren's DepartmentCreation 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

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 visit our donation page.

Make a Contribution Today!