Edgartown Public Library
“Foot traffic into the library in April … numbered nearly 5,500 people — up significantly from last year and more than double what we experienced in the busiest years at our previous site on North Water Street. But even more dramatic is the way people have been staying here for hours, finding comfortable reading nooks all over the building and settling into our quiet study and meeting rooms.”
Previously located in the center of town since 1904, the library outgrew its Carnegie building years ago and has relocated adjacent to a site contiguous with the nearby elementary school. The $11 million, 15,500-square-foot, two-story library is organized in three wings: a children’s wing, a gallery/meeting wing, and a two-story adult service wing.
Each wing of the crisp building features signature “lighthouse” clerestories and soaring interior spaces that bring daylight deep into the interior volumes. In Edgartown where widow’s walks and lighthouses abound, the design took cues from the local architecture to inform the overall massing and design. To achieve simultaneous “uplift” and “anchor,” the building combines a solid brick perimeter with tall windows in addition to the wrap-around clerestories.
The Edgartown Public Library contains one of Martha’s Vineyard’s most important historical book and painting collections. The building is in a historic district subject to aesthetic and design restrictions. Tappé Architects, Inc. was the Architect of Record, Celia Imrey of Imrey Studio was the lead designer. LEED silver was achieved.