Owner's Representative—New York, New York

Columbia University, Butler Library

Jonathan Rose Companies was the owner’s representative for the final phase of the renovation of The Butler Library on the campus of Columbia University. Designed by McKim, Mead & White, the Butler Library opened in 1934 as Columbia University’s flagship library containing almost two million volumes and a Rare Books and Materials collection that spans 4,000 years of priceless printed materials.

Although the traditional Italian Renaissance building was equipped with the latest technology when it was built, over time it became sorely outdated with respect to air conditioning, computer technology, vertical transportation, book conveyance and life safety systems as the University prepared to enter the 21st Century. In 1994 Columbia launched a $115 million multi-phase renovation of the library. The total scope of renovations included elevator rehabilitation, new finishes, updated mechanical and electrical systems, as well as new communications and fire-safety systems.  Further improvements included the redesign of reading rooms and study areas to create a more appealing and efficient configuration well-suited for both individual and group study. All of the new work areas are now equipped with the infrastructure needed to support today’s state-of-the-art communication technologies.

Construction on the final phase of the renovation overseen by Jonathan Rose Companies included improvements to the rare book collection area with enhanced lighting, fire-protection and detection systems, and refurbished interior finishes. Also included was renovation of graduate carrels interior finishes, electrical and data systems. Improvements to the HVAC and roofing systems were also completed as the final phase of work. The project came in under budget and in time for The Butler Library’s celebration of the acquisition of its 2,000,000th volume.

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Project Profile

Restoration of Campus Library

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Project Status

Completion: 2009

Total Project Size / Budget
160,000 SF