A Modern Addition to a Historic Library
A “jewel” of Montpelier, the existing Kellogg-Hubbard Library was built in 1884 and is a fine example of the Italianate Renaissance Style. The original building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, underwent a complete restoration and was brought into the new century with new systems and appropriate technological improvements. Renovations paid rigorous attention to the historic nature and elegance of the existing building and revealed details hidden in time. The 6,500 sf addition, which nearly doubles the total square footage of the library, provides a new Children’s Library and additional stack space for the adult collection. The formal massing of the addition wraps around the north and east side of the existing library, stepping back from each façade and appropriately highlighting the grandeur of the existing building.
The charm of the new library begins outside. Entry into the Children’s Library is through a granite clad courtyard with quotes from children’s literature carved into its walls. The wood framed bay window references the bowed stone window of the original library, and acts as a lantern, revealing activity within and beckoning each passerby to enter. Materials were chosen to complement the existing building but were finished and detailed in a contemporary manner, subtly differentiating old from new. Quietly standing apart from the original building, the new addition enhances the formal qualities of the 1884 building while providing an appropriate contemporary design response.
"Connecting to and working with an existing classical language are very difficult conditions. The addition is very sympathetic to the original. A simple elegant interior that is warm at the same time. The bay element seems responsive to the original building and doing it in wood seems like the right thing to do. The addition seems to find some peace within itself. A good project and a difficult piece of architecture."– 2004 AIA Design Awards Jury