WHERE: Baltimore, MD
The George Peabody Library is frequently regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world. Its interior features a wide array of architectural elements that originate from a number of different styles—Beaux Arts, Georgian, Greek Revival, and Renaissance Revival to name a few—for an effect that is opulent yet cohesive. But one of its most prominent features—a skylight that overlooks the central, five-story tall atrium—had become a point of concern. The panels of the skylight would lift in high winds, a potential threat to the library’s 300,000 rare texts, including a 17th-century printing of Don Quixote as well as a first edition of Moby Dick. Reinforcing the panels required a complex solution that would not only be strong enough but wouldn’t compromise the library’s historic design, and the project itself had to be completed with the limited space without endangering the collection. The process was complicated to say the least, but in the end the skylight was reinforced, the collection protected, and visitors can continue experience the library in all of its splendid, historic glory.