Chicago Public Library Archives. Harold Washington Library Center Construction Photographs
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.
- Creation: 1988 - 1991
- Peter Fish Studios (Organization)
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.
6 Linear Feet (in 14 boxes)
Language of Materials
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.
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.
- Chicago Public Library. Harold Washington Library Center (Organization)
- Guide to the Chicago Public Library Archives. Harold Washington Library Center Construction Photographs
- Original author unknown, undated. Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Johanna Russ, 2022.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English
Part of the Special Collections Unit at Harold Washington Library Center Repository
Harold Washington Library Center, 9th Floor
Chicago Public Library
400 S. State Street
Chicago IL 60605 United States