Charles Deering Library West Entry

Evanston, Illinois / United States of America


Upon completion of Northwestern's University Library in 1970, the front entrance of James Gamble Rogers's 1933 Deering Library was permanently closed, compromising its intended role as ceremonial portal to the precincts of knowledge. Restoration of this entrance vigorously restates the building's splendor and celebratory architectural character.

A new and necessary accessible entry route was conceived without ramps: As part of the landscape, gentle walks serve all approaching the building and reinforce the symmetry of the Library's ascending composition of retaining walls and loggia. Steps to a new, elevated plaza engage the adjacent meadow, and custom-designed bronze lamp standards and railings emerge from new terraces and walls built with Deering's original materials palette; harmoniously extending the building's grammar while establishing a distinct but compatible vocabulary for new elements. This coordinated ensemble includes restored historic exterior lighting, finishes and hardware, and the plaza's lively pavement reintroduces the figured sandstone selected by Rogers but removed long ago.

The space was immediately embraced as a shared focal point for campus life: Media hookups and site lighting were incorporated to support its new role as meeting place and rostrum for gatherings on the meadow. Deering again proclaims its place as the heart of the university.

Architect of record

Aric Lasher
HBRA Architects, Inc
372 W. Ontario Street, 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60654, United States
Phone: 3125273200

General contractor

Mike Shydlowski
W.B. Olson
3235 Arnold Lane
Northbrook, IL 60062, United States
Phone: 8474983800

Consultant 1

Steve Sovak
WMA Consulting Engineers, Ltd.
815 S. Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605, United States
Phone: 3127864310

Consultant 2

Farhad Rezai
Rubinos & Mesia Engineers, Inc.
200 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 1500
Chicago, IL 60604, United States
Phone: 3128706614

Consultant 3

Anne Kustner Haser
Anne Kustner Lighting Design
900 Isabella Street
Evanston, IL 60201, United States
Phone: 8474752010

Consultant 4

Paul Laudolff
CCS International, Inc
1815 S. Meyers Road, Suite 200
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181, United States
Phone: 6306780808

Consultant 5

Renee Doktorvzyk
ArchiTech Consulting, Inc
111 East Busse Avenue, Suite 601
Mount Prospect, IL 60056, United States
Phone: 2243453450

Consultant 6

Stuart Wright
HH Angus
405 N. Wabash, Suite 806
Chicago, IL 60611, United States
Phone: 3125275552

Consultant 7

Jim Durham
Quarra Stone Company, LLC
333 Atlas Avenue
Madison, WI 53714, United States
Phone: 6082468803

Consultant 8

Van Wood
Small Corp
19 Butternut Street
Greenfield, MA 01301, United States
Phone: 4137720889

Consultant 9

John O'Brien
O'Brien Metal, Inc
2100 N. Southport Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614, United States
Phone: 8889734442

Consultant 10

Tim Chmura
Barsanti Woodwork Corp.
3838 W. 51st Street
Chicago, IL 60632, United States
Phone: 7732846888


Mark Ballogg
Ballogg Photography
1459 W. Cortez
Chicago, IL 60642, United States
Phone: 7737721507