Bucknell University’s Carnegie Building was originally constructed in 1904/1905 as the Carnegie Library with funds provided by Andrew Carnegie but over the past 60 plus years it has been utilized by numerous departments and organizations as the needs of this growing institution changed. During this time the grand two story reading room and most of the original historic fabric was lost and the building had fallen into disrepair. The three story building is approximately 65 feet wide and 90 long and constructed of load bearing masonry walls and wood framed floors. The building’s exterior was restored including new entrance stairs with unique glass entrance doors. The original windows were replaced with custom fabricated aluminum clad wood windows to match the configuration and profile of the original. The roof was replaced with a standing seam metal roof similar to its original and clearstory windows were recreated. The hand pressed brick and brownstone façade was cleaned and repointed and the lost cornice and entrance entablatures were recreated based on historic photographs.
A new historically sensitive accessible entrance has been added which includes a new elevator and fire stair. In the interior, most of the past 60 years of modifications were removed including floor infills and old systems. The original central two story high reading room was recreated including the second floor balconies and barrel vaulted ceiling with oak framed daylight. Flanking both sides and on both floors of the shared reading room are offices, private tutoring and seminar spaces and a classroom all in support of the University’s Writing Center, Teaching and Learning Center, Office for Accessibility and the Griot Institute for African Studies. Long term, the building will have a flexible program, providing the University with office space and lounge and exhibit space on the first and second floors. The lower floor was renovated as lab space for the Geology Department. The project included the surgical insertion of completely new MEP and life safety systems. The project was awarded LEED Certification under USGBC LEED 2009.
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