Parts of the original 1928 Jones Library building were distinctive for their appearance and “homey” feeling, designed to attract patrons to the Town’s “living room.” Other parts – a 260 seat theater, art gallery and other features were designed to attract visitors for other reasons.
The project’s architects, Finegold Alexander Architects, have a proven record of preserving architectural history in library projects, and the proposal prominently features, and, in some cases, restores many of the unique elements of the 1928 building. The exterior will be preserved, as will the scale of the rooms on the west side of the first floor. The barrel vaulted ceiling and dormer windows of the theater (now obscured by the adult fiction stacks) will be restored. The second floor, now closed to the public as staff areas, will once again, provide a quiet reading space not now available, and the Goodwin Room on the 3rd floor will be kept intact. The 1992 addition will be replaced by one that begins to meet the needs of today’s Amherst residents.
The planning process has not yet addressed the finishes of both the exterior and interior of the addition, or the interior of the original building, concentrating only on the schematics required by the MBLC application. The architects, the Trustees of the Library, and the Design Subcommittee are committed to preserving as much of the look and feel of the Library as the available funds and the mission of the Library will permit.