Construction continues on the new Geneva Public Library at 227 S. Seventh St. as crews frame interior walls, beginning on the third floor and working their way down. Workers have been installing floors, stairways, and elevators as well. The prospective opening date is fall 2019.
A view of work seen from Seventh Street (above and below). The rounded area is the quiet reading room on the upper level. In the span of one week, crews made a lot of progress!
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.
This view, from Sixth Street, looks directly into the main lobby through to the kids' area on the lower level.
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.
A view of the curvilinear ribbon that runs along Campbell Street.
* 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.
A view from Sixth Street (above and below) that shows the balcony looking onto Franklin Street (arch in the center). There will be a two-sided fireplace serving people indoors and outdoors.
View renderings of the new library at
This view from Franklin Street faces the main meeting room space (on the right).
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 gpldnewbuilding.org for a comprehensive overview of the plans for the new library and regular updates on progress. Please contact us anytime at Board@gpld.org.