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Project Burnham: Remodeling the Joliet Library's Downtown Branch

Projected-Lobby.jpg - 438.03 kB *Projected Concept-Main Floor Ottawa Street Lobby


The Joliet Public Library is excited to announce the renovation and modernization of the interior of our historic Ottawa Street Branch. The focus of the renovation is to provide the Joliet community with updated library spaces and improved access to library resources. The project will create an inviting downtown destination for the community, and serve as an indoor compliment to the adjacent future City Square.

It was the Library’s original architect, Daniel Burnham who famously said “Make no little plans, they have no power to stir men’s blood.” The Library has been making big plans for the Ottawa Street location, which was originally built in 1903, for years. As part of the Library’s Strategic Planning Process which began in 2015, the Library Board identified creating a master plan for building renovations as a top goal. 


  • Create a Destination for Children and Families
  • Develop a Discovery Zone to Encourage Literacy
  • Expand Local History Department
  • Provide Collaboration and Quiet Study Zones
  • Expand Content Creation Options
  • Open Chicago Street Entrance
  • Preserve the Original Library

Design Requirements

  • Create adaptable space to last 20+ years
  • Target low maintenance and durable finishes
  • Restore Original Burnham Library
  • Provide LED Lighting & Controls
  • Replace Remaining Aging Building Systems
  • Address Accessibility/Plumbing Code Requirements
  • Update A/V Systems and Technology Infrastructure







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