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Chicago Public Library Archives. Harold Washington Library Center Construction Photographs

 Collection
Identifier: spe-l00173

Scope and Contents

The construction photographs were taken during the construction of the Library by Peter Fish Studios. The collection consists of over 1,400 black and white prints taken from the beginning of the project in 1988 until completion in 1991. Both interior and exterior shots were taken and all aspects of the building’s construction are shown, including the erection of steel, the masonry work, the interior heating and air conditioning systems, and the installation of marble finishes and casework.

Dates

  • 1988 - 1991

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection.

Biographical / Historical

The Harold Washington Library Center opened to the public in October 1991. It was the result of an ambitious international Design/Build competition which aimed to house the Central Library’s collection in one building. The winning team was SEBUS, comprising of Schal Associates Partnership, A. Epstein and Sons International, Hammond Beeby and Babka, and U.S. Equities Realty, Inc. The building measures over 750,000 square feet, has over 70 miles of shelving, cost $144 million and was completed on time and within the budget.

Extent

6 Linear Feet (in 14 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

This photographic collection documents the construction of the Harold Washington Library Center, the central library for the Chicago Public Library. Both interior and exterior shots were taken, and all aspects of the building’s construction are shown, including the erection of steel, the masonry work, the interior heating and air conditioning systems, and the installation of marble finishes and casework.

Arrangement

The photographs are arranged in their original order, namely chronological.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Chicago Public Library purchased a complete set of the negatives from Peter Fish Studios in 1995.

Related Materials

Chicago Public Library Archives, Harold Washington Library Center, Design Build Competition Records

Title
Guide to the Chicago Public Library Archives. Harold Washington Library Center Construction Photographs
Status
Completed
Author
Original author unknown, undated. Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Johanna Russ, 2022.
Date
undated
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Unit at Harold Washington Library Center Repository

Contact:
Harold Washington Library Center, 9th Floor
Chicago Public Library
400 S. State Street
Chicago IL 60605 United States
(312) 747-4875