Sterling Bay, a Chicago-based real estate investment and development company, today revealed renderings for the newest branch of the Chicago Public Library. The new West Loop Branch, made possible by Sterling Bay’s donation of their 118-22 North Aberdeen Street property, will become the 81st branch of the Chicago Public Library system.
“We are a Chicago company and building the West Loop Branch is a great way for us to make a difference in our community,” said Andy Gloor, managing principal of Sterling Bay. “This area of the city has never had a library before, so we began working with Alderman Burnett and the Chicago Public Library to bring a state-of-the-art library to this community and create a new neighborhood space where residents can work and learn.”
Designed by the Chicago-based architecture and design firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), the new library promises to feature modern amenities desired by local residents, including designated reading areas, community meeting spaces, a tinkering lab for children, private meeting rooms and a YOUmedia digital lab featuring coding and design software, vinyl cutters and a recording studio.
“Chicago is breaking the mold for what an innovative, inclusive 21st century library system can look like,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The new West Loop library will be an invaluable public resource, a strong community anchor and a great gathering space for Chicagoans of all ages to come together and broaden their horizons.”
Currently under construction, the 16,500-square-foot library is being funded in part through the Neighborhood Opportunity Bonus and private donations. Sterling Bay, who is currently overseeing the construction process, anticipates the library will be complete and ready for use in early 2019.
“Building a 21st century library in a brand-new service point presents us with a unique opportunity to provide a community anchor for local residents to gather, share and succeed,” said Chicago Public Library commissioner Brian Bannon. “Sterling Bay has been a valued partner throughout this process, and we look forward to continuing our work with the company and opening the doors of the West Loop Branch in the coming year.”