West Loop Branch Library

122 N Aberdeen St Chicago

Audio Commentary:

West Loop Branch Library

Address: 122 N. Aberdeen St. // Architect: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), 2018
Click the speaker icon for audio commentary by architect Brian Lee, Consulting Partner, SOM

The West Loop's new library is the neighborhood’s first-ever Chicago Public Library branch. The area’s residential transformation over the past 20 years created a new need for a library and community hub. Donated to the City of Chicago by developer Sterling Bay, the adaptive reuse project preserves and consolidates two industrial buildings that were remnants of the Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios campus. The library’s weathered steel exterior, which develops a protective rust-like patina over time, unifies the facades of the older structures.

Inside, the architects’ careful renovation exposes the previously concealed bow-truss ceilings and skylights to create a light-filled, loft-like space that reflects the West Loop’s factory-warehouse style.

As you explore Chicago during OHC, please wear a face covering, maintain at least six feet of distance from others and do not attempt to enter any buildings.

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West Loop Branch Library

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