Library reopens after 3-year $115 million restoration
The Enoch Pratt Free Library is proud to announce reopening festivities for the historic Central Library/State Library Resource Center. The $115 million restoration preserves the past while positioning the Enoch Pratt Free Library to serve all Marylanders into the future. The renovation includes infrastructure upgrades, new technology, and detailed artistic restoration work.
WHAT: Grand Reopening of Central Library
Community Open House and Block Party
Senator Ben Cardin
Senator Chris Van Hollen
Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young
Heidi Daniel, Pratt Library President & CEO
Ben Rosenberg, Pratt Library Board Chair
WHEN: Saturday, September 14, 12pm-4pm
Ribbon cutting at NOON
Pratt Central Library
400 Cathedral St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
The Open House/Block Party will feature food trucks, children’s activities, a virtual tour, and free fun for the whole family. A blockbuster slate of writers is scheduled to give talks including Laura Lippman & Sujata Massey, Adam Gidwitz, Chris Wilson and Kondwani Fidel featuring D. Watkins. Live music will be provided by A1 Chops, Old Bay Brass, Nico Sarbanes, Conjunto Bruja, 123 Andres!, the Morgan State Choir, Contemporary Arts, Inc., and more.
“This is truly a celebration for the whole city,” says Pratt Library President and CEO Heidi Daniel. “I believe this building is a convener of people and a place filled with possibilities and opportunities. This restoration ensures it will remain that for generations to come.”
The renovation includes a new Job and Career Center, the Best & Next Department, Creative Arts Center, and expanded Teen Learning and Leadership Center with a state-of-the-art audio and video recording studio. Iconic Central Hall has been restored, as well as the Children’s Library, and Wheeler Auditorium.
“The Pratt Library system is an integral part of the fabric of Baltimore City,” says Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young. “I’m beyond thrilled this beautiful part of our city's history is restored and returned to the public. For nearly a century, the Pratt Central Library has stood as a testament to our commitment to public education and I’m proud that the tradition will continue for another century.”
The Pratt Central Library first opened its doors on Cathedral Street in 1933. This is the first full-scale restoration of the building. The $115 million renovation was funded by the state of Maryland, city of Baltimore, and the generosity of private donors. Managing architects on the project were Ayers Saint Gross. Beyer Blinder Belle served as lead architects. Sandra Vicchio & Associates served as consulting architects. Construction was managed by Gilbane Building Company.