Walter Library;  Copyright owner:  S. Fowler; Used by permission.
Walter Library; Copyright owner: S. Fowler; Used by permission.

The historic Water Library, located on the Minneapolis Campus of the University of Minnesota, first opened in 1924 at a cost of $1.4 million. The library underwent a $63.4 million renovation, preservation, and extensive updating of its building systems, and reopened as the Science and Engineering Library in 2002. The building’s exterior remained virtually unchanged and many interior features were carefully restored to their original splendor. Renovation was untaken to enhance the original interior, and to address safety codes. Major technological updates were incorporated into the new design.




Background

Copyright owner: University of Minnesota; permission pending.
Copyright owner: University of Minnesota; permission pending.
The original 1924 library building was renamed in honor of librarian Frank Kellogg Walter in 1959. He was the head librarian from 1922 until his retirement in 1943. Walter was a nationally known librarian, best-known for developing the research library from 300,000 items to more than 1.3 million, thus bringing it from a 12th place ranking to 6th place among university libraries. His vision also led him to create the nation’s first program for bio-medical librarians.(1) Walter had worked with the architect to conceive, design and monitor the construction of the original building. Designed by Minnesota state architect, Clarence Johnston, and built at a cost of $1.4 million, the library was a very ornate and classical building with its stone and brick exterior, ornamental plaster ceilings, intricate woodwork, and state-of-the-art steel book stacks. It was built in the Roman Renaissance style of red brick and Bedford limestone trim, with a colonnaded portico. The other buildings along Northrop Mall on the campus also shared this style.(2)

The Great Hall; Copyright Owner: University of Minnesota; Permission Pending.
The Great Hall; Copyright Owner: University of Minnesota; Permission Pending.

The recent renovation, designed by Minneapolis architectural firm Stageberg Beyer Sachs, began in December 1999 and was completed in: December 2002 at a cost of $63.4 million. It now houses the Science & Engineering Library, Digital Technology Center, Learning Resources Center, Digital Media Center, The IT Dean’s office, and the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute.(3)

Timeline

1n 1989, University officials determined that extensive renovation was needed at Walter Library. When first built in 1924, it was hailed as an architectural and wonder, and a leader among academic libraries. However, it had reached a point in which it could no longer meet the needs of students and faculty in the high-tech Information Age.
By 1992, the initial phase of schematic design development was 90 percent complete.
In 1994, due to a shift in the University's capital request strategy, the Minnesota Library Access Center took priority over the Walter renovation, and the project was in limbo until 1997.
Then, In 1997, the project went back to the top when new University president, Mark Yudof’s vision encompassed major academic initiatives, and a capital plan to support those initiatives including a commitment to historic preservation.(4)
In December of 19999, the Minneapolis architectural firm of Stageberg Beyer Sachs, began renovation and construction of the addition that replaced the steel stack core. It was completed in December 2002.

Project description
Copyright owner: University of Minnesota; permission pending.
Copyright owner: University of Minnesota; permission pending.

Walter Library’s $64.3 million renovation restored the 78-year-old Classical Revival structure to its original glory while also making it into a high-tech showcase for research and education. Below the ornate recessed ceilings and marble staircases lies 60,000 square feet of flooring raised to conceal digital wiring, 200,000 feet of fiber optic cable, and over 800,000 feet of data cable enabling students to enjoy wireless high-speed internet. They can plug-in in the library reading rooms or use state-of the art terminals.(5)

Project architect, Drew Bjoklund, explains the project’s priorities:
"Balancing building code criteria with historic preservation guidelines is a delicate process, especially if it means altering the structure's
historic presence,” says Bjorklund. “When you're involved with a historic structure, you must be sensitive to the preservation quality of
the building and its historical significance. In this situation, where we created an addition (where the steel stack core used to be), the
design had to complement the original building. We strove to make no changes in its historical character."(6)

Building Exterior:
This needed only light treatment and was unaltered in the process. A colonnaded portico facing Northrop Mall marks the building's main entrance. Relief panels—surmounted over three doorways framed in carved stone. The sculptured panels are richly symbolic, here representing various aspects of a liberal education.(7)
North Reading Room post renovation;  Copyright owner:  Americal Library Association; Permission pending.
North Reading Room post renovation; Copyright owner: Americal Library Association; Permission pending.
North Reading Room before renovation;  Copyright owner:  University of Minnesota; Permission pending.
North Reading Room before renovation; Copyright owner: University of Minnesota; Permission pending.

Old reserve reading room:
The original north reading room adjoining the Upson Room is now a spacious Academic and Distributed Computer Services (ADCS) computer laboratory open to all University undergraduates. The lab accommodates about 100 workstations. Workers built a carpeted, raised sub-floor four inches over the room's original linotile flooring. Inside this space they threaded a complex network of data and power cables. This configuration will give technicians easy access to the wiring when changes are required. Oak wainscoting and a splendid decorative plaster ceiling with honey-colored beams add ambience and charm to this high-tech space. In areas where the original decorative scheme had been painted over, workers removed layers of white paint one at a time to uncover the original color scheme of warm neutrals and pastels. Artists painstakingly experimented with blending, glazing, and application techniques until they achieved a six-color palette that matched the original in color, tone, value, hue, and application.(8)
The Great Hall; Copyright owner: University of Minnesota; permission pending.
The Great Hall; Copyright owner: University of Minnesota; permission pending.

The Great Hall:
Dramatic skylights traverse the Great Hall ceiling (three smaller skylights overlook the atrium).
Although the architects would have preferred to keep the original overhead glass windows, they had to install new ones that met code compliance. New lay-light panels achieve this, yet maintain the character of the original glass. CSS artisans used Glasslam, a clear silicone/epoxy mixture, to bond patterned art glass to heat-strengthened glass. Faux caming was bonded to the underside (down side) of the glass panels, replicating the original caming patterns. Ceilings of the Great Hall and atrium required extensive plaster repairs and restorative painting. After removing loose paint and dirt, artisans washed the areas thoroughly and lightly sanded them to prepare for painting. Various techniques were tried on sample boards until they matched the original look.(9)
Arthur Upson Room; Copyright owner: University of Minnesota; permission pending.
Arthur Upson Room; Copyright owner: University of Minnesota; permission pending.

The Arthur Upson Room: Off the lobby to the north, a corridor leads to the Arthur Upson Room. Tucked away in the building's northeast corner, this quiet retreat is a memorial to the young poet who wrote lyrics to “Hail! Minnesota. The Upson Room opened in February 1925 as a reading room for undergraduates. The room's dark, opulent furnishings and ornate interior reflected Upson's taste for Italian Renaissance furniture and rich decor.(10)


Bringing Building Systems Up to Code and Up-to-Date:
Building crews were faced with varying structural systems, and had to mesh new construction with the original. All the while assessing the relative cost-benefits of historic preservation and reproduction. Because the steel-frame stack core was open to all floors, it was a major fire hazard that couldn't be fireproofed. It had to be removed, and addition put in its place. Workers fireproofed existing clay masonry walls, removed asbestos, upgraded fire-safety equipment, added air-conditioning and humidity controls, and brought electrical, mechanical systems up to code. Plumbing, ductwork, lighting, and electrical systems had to be replaced due to obsolescence There were insufficient environmental controls which compromised the longevity of the books and other paper materials.(11)

The Digital Technolgy Center includes classrooms dedicated to the development of computer-aided undergraduate courses, workspace for collaborative ventures, distance-learning classrooms, and advanced networking, computing, and telecommunications laboratories.external image FloorPlanPage2.jpg









































Architect
Original Architect of the 1924 building was Minnesota State Architect, Clarence Johnston. The 2002 renovation was completed by Stageberg Beyer Sachs.
General contractor M.A. Mortenson Company of Minneapolis and officials from University Facilities Management supervised the project and coordinated the work being done by a team of nearly 20 firms.

Funding
The original building was funded by The Minnesota legislature in 1919 when they appropriated $1.25 million for a new library. Of the $63.4 million required for the recent renovation, $53.6 million was included in the University's 1998 capital request to the state legislature.

Contact Information:
Institution Name: Science and Engineering Library (Walter Library), University of MN, Minneapolis
Address: 117 Pleasant St.SE, Minneapolis, MN
Phone: (612) 624-0224
Website URL for institution: http://sciweb.lib.umn.edu/
Website URL for project: http://sciweb.lib.umn.edu/walter/renovation.pdf

Links
Walter Library, University of MN, Minneapolis
University of MN, Minneapolis
Science and Engineering Library
Frank Kellogg Walter
Clarence Johnston, Sr.
Stageberg Beyer Sachs

References
(1) Frank Kellogg Walter: The Science and Engineering Building. Universtity of Minnesota.
http://sciweb.lib.umn.edu/walter/frankwalterbio_txt.html Retrieved 5/10
(2)
Rebirth of an Architectural Treasure: The Renovation of Walter Library. University of Minnesota. http://sciweb.lib.umn.edu/walter/renovation.pdf Retrieved 5/10
(3) Rebirth of an Architectural Treasure: The Renovation of Walter Library. University of Minnesota. http://sciweb.lib.umn.edu/walter/renovation.pdf Retrieved 5/10
(4)
Coons, Mary ,A new chapter for Walter Library http://www.it.umn.edu/news/inventing/2002_Spring/wl_newchapter.html Retrieved 5/10
(5)
Coons, Mary ,A new chapter for Walter Library http://www.it.umn.edu/news/inventing/2002_Spring/wl_newchapter.html Retrieved 5/10
(6) Coons, Mary ,A new chapter for Walter Library http://www.it.umn.edu/news/inventing/2002_Spring/wl_newchapter.html Retrieved 5/10
(7) Coons, Mary ,A new chapter for Walter Library http://www.it.umn.edu/news/inventing/2002_Spring/wl_newchapter.html Retrieved 5/10
(8) Coons, Mary ,A new chapter for Walter Library http://www.it.umn.edu/news/inventing/2002_Spring/wl_newchapter.html Retrieved 5/10
(9) Coons, Mary ,A new chapter for Walter Library http://www.it.umn.edu/news/inventing/2002_Spring/wl_newchapter.html Retrieved 5/10
(10) Coons, Mary ,A new chapter for Walter Library http://www.it.umn.edu/news/inventing/2002_Spring/wl_newchapter.html Retrieved 5/10
(11) Coons, Mary ,A new chapter for Walter Library http://www.it.umn.edu/news/inventing/2002_Spring/wl_newchapter.html Retrieved 5/10