In partnership with Rhode Island Energy, CLEAResult, and the Providence Public Library (PPL), Stephen Turner Inc. led a tour of the newly transformed PPL facility at 150 Empire Street in Providence, RI. Beginning with a presentation on the history of the library, architectural interventions, newly installed energy conservation measures, and project funding mechanisms delivered from the stage of the updated Donald J. Farish Auditorium, the tour proceeded through the 1950 Art Moderne-style Empire Street wing, the new climate-controlled home for the library’s special collections, and the original Beaux Arts-style portion of the building (first opened in 1900).
The $25 million transformation project, Rhode Island’s largest ever public library renovation, touched approximately 85,000 GSF of the building. The project's overall goal was to align the form and function of the library’s physical space with the 21st century programming already provided by PPL’s dedicated and energetic leadership and staff. Stacks and staff areas were consolidated to yield more space for public programming. Main library services were moved up a floor to give space to community partnerships on street level. A new entry with grand stair and atrium was conceived to welcome visitors and connect them to all the library has to offer. A workshop with light fabrication equipment and storage was added to support local nonprofits offering hands-on learning programs, and the auditorium was upgraded to ADA compliance.
Guest speakers at the presentation included Angela Tuoni of the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank and Michael Doty of Nuveen Green Capital, who described the benefits of the Rhode Island Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (RI C-PACE) program, which provided a $1.6 million loan underwritten on the projected energy savings. Other contributors to the presentation and tour included the project design and construction team, designLAB architects, RFS Engineering, and Bond Building Construction.
Construction progress photographs may be viewed here here +
A PDF of the presentation can be found here +