Havard Widener Memorial Library

Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 

This 1915 library stands at the geographical and intellectual heart of Harvard University. Its renewal called for a renovation that would redefine the programmatic and technical aspects of this academic research library, while maintaining the traditional aura and comfort. 


The first phase entailed upgrading the building system infrastructure and the library support spaces, while guaranteeing preservation of so many priceless books and materials. Also, “found” space within two large light wells was infilled with new mechanical spaces, staff work areas, and two skylighted reading rooms. The second phase involved restoration of the historic public and reading spaces, in which existing features and finishes were preserved, and these features were incorporated as acoustical enhancements. 

Architect:  Einhorn Yaffee Prescott
Completion:  2004

Acoustical consulting provided as a Cavanaugh Tocci Associates, Sudbury, MA, project, K. Anthony Hoover, FASA, Principal Consultant.