McKim Building, Boston Public Library

Project Summary

Location: Boston, MA

Architect: Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott

General Contractor: Lee Kennedy Company

Awards: 2001 City of Boston and the Boston Society of Architects Harleston Parker Medal for Design Excellence

Historic Designation: Listing on the National Register of Historic Places, Designation as a National Historic Landmark

The McKim building is the most architecturally and historically important of the Boston Public Library Buildings, constructed in 1885 by the nationally renowned Boston-based firm of McKim, Mead & White. Restoration work at the Boston Public Library was first conceived of in 1980, when the Trustees of the Boston Public Library received a planning grant from the Massachusetts Historical Commission that allowed for a feasibility study for the restoration to take place. The phase one restoration work began in the early 1990s and spanned five years, with phase two beginning in 1996, directly after phase one completion.

The work completed by Muckle was part of the massive phase two restoration, managed by Lee Kennedy Company, which included work to the Sargent Gallery, Webster Room, Cheverus Room, Changing Exhibits Room, Abbey Room, Trustees Foyer & Conference Room, plus MEP and HVAC upgrades.

As part of phase two of the restoration of the central branch of the Boston Public Library, Rich Muckle oversaw his preservation carpenters as they successfully:

  • Restored existing monumental arch-top windows
  • Directed the conversation of historic flooring, under the lead of Rich Muckle
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