• Paula Krapf

Springing into new library construction

Exterior walls are getting rain screen and insulation layers as construction continues on the new Geneva Public Library at 227 S. Seventh St. Once this phase is complete, crews will add terracotta to the exterior. Crews are also framing interior walls, with most of the second and third floors finished. The prospective opening date is fall 2019.

Crews performing exterior work as seen from Sixth and Campbell streets.

A view from Sixth and Campbell streets looking onto the main lobby on the left.

What will the new library feature?

The 57,000-square-foot building will have 76 off-street parking spaces, drive-up convenience, a variety of meeting areas, a community art gallery, and outdoor reading spaces. The building will be fully ADA compliant, making it accessible for all.

* The Library will feature an enhanced children’s area with developmentally appropriate collections, play areas, and learning opportunities for children from birth through eighth grade.

* Teens and adults will have access to expanded collections and enjoy spending time in the quiet reading and study spaces.

* Additionally, Library service will be expanded to include new opportunities for collaborating, using technology, making crafts, and experimenting in lab spaces.

Framing walls on the second level as seen from Sixth Street.

A view from Seventh Street showing the quiet reading room on the second level (the round room), and below it, the drive-up area on the main floor.

What informed the design of the new library?

The building’s design unites many elements of the community, and was developed with feedback from both the public and the Historic Preservation Commission. The HPC encouraged architects to examine the history of the area as an industrial corridor and tie some of those elements into the design.

* The colors and texture of the material choice reflect the Fox Valley limestone and other building materials prevalent in the area.

* The curvilinear ribbon that flows along the second floor was inspired by the cottonwood tree on-site and treehouses seen in residential neighborhoods.

* The old lumber mill and the Pope Box Company inspired the vertical expressions seen in the design, and the metal banding is a reflection of the former Geneva Kitchens manufacturing facility.

* The arch at the roof level that echoes the hull of the Viking ship now resting in Good Templar Park is meant to pay homage to the Swedish heritage of the area.

This view from Sixth Street shows the main meeting room (right side), and the upper level balcony (center) that will be served by a indoor/outdoor fireplace.

Exterior work as seen from Sixth Street.

View renderings of the new library at

What will happen to the park on the site?

Library officials will work with Park District officials to develop plans for a new playground at the corner of Sixth and Franklin. The Park District will also engage in a public process to seek input.

Visit for a comprehensive overview of the plans for the new library and regular updates on progress. Please contact us anytime at



127 James Street  | Geneva, IL 60134 | 630-232-0780 phone | 630-232-0881 fax

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