Carow · Architects has extensive experience in library analysis and planning.  Our range of library planning projects extends from new and renovated libraries for villages to city branches; from corporate libraries to large major urban and university facilities.  We believe these libraries have similar needs: to find solutions that will be meaningful in time, growing and offering flexibility as library functions change and develop.  Our libraries are fully capable of meeting the latest in security, computer, and telecommunication system installations.  We also know the value of integrating the distinctive needs of the community the library serves into the program so as to establish fresh and insightful design criteria.  Our main Chicago location allows us access to the full resources of the nearby American Library Association headquarters.  We review program needs with qualified professional consultants, librarians, automation consultants, and telecommunications experts in order to assure a correct building plan.


Des Plaines, Illiniois

The firm was commissioned to provide master planning for current, five-year and ten-year requirements. The program review and updating demonstrated that the current library of 40,000 square feet was undersized, and required 50,000 square feet simply to meet current needs in 1999; 56,000 for the year 2002; and 63,000 square feet by the year 2007. The existing building was investigated, relocation of the departments was proposed, and a block of space was identified for the required expansion. A new entrance and lobby were proposed to solve the problems of the present small and congested entrance.Rather than adding to the existing building the library and city chose to negotiate the building of a new library closer to the downtown with a private developer.




University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh
Forrest R. Polk Library
Oshkosh, Wisconsin

The Polk Library was built in 1961 and doubled in size to 106,000 square feet with a 1969 addition. Carow กค Architects Plus has studied current and future library needs and developed a program for an expansion to 205,500 square feet including all of the Information Technology Division whose facilties are presently scattered around the campus. Concept plans were developed for the most effective expansion and renovation of the building, including an alternative for reducing cost and square footage through the installation of a robotic book retrieval system.


Walgren Library, North Park College and Theological Seminary
Chicago, Illinois

The firm studied the current 40,000 square foot academic library building, and developed a program based on observed needs and those identified by staff and administration. The study assessed the cost implications of renovating and adding to the present building versus new construction. The recommendation was made, based on cost effectiveness, to build a new building of 72,000 sf.




Broome County Public Library Central Library
Binghamton, New York

Carow · Architects has worked as Owner's Representative with the Broome County Department of Public Works, Binghamton, New York, to develop a program, space needs assessment, and to establish guidelines, format, bid packages, and schematic design for a competitive design-build process for the proposed new downtown Broome County Public Library. The competition submissions for this library of 90,000 square feet were recently evaluated with the winning solution costing $12 million to construct. The firm will act to represent the Owner for the contract negotiations with the winning development/contractor/architect team and will oversee the construction phase of the project.



The Harold Washington Central Library
Chicago, Illinois

Carow · Architects provided the City of Chicago Department of Planning and the Chicago Public Library with planning studies for the Harold Washington Central Library. The studies evaluated the impact of the Library on the neighborhood, assessed parking needs, recommended public transportation improvements, and circulation. The building analysis contained guidelines for building massing, fenestration and articulation, open public spaces, and relationships to adjacent buildings. The winning solution, selected from five competition entries, followed the recommended siting and massing.


Evanston Public Library
Evanston, Illinois

Mr. Carow served four years as a Board Member for the Evanston Public Library, Evanston, Illinois, three of which were as Chairman of its Building Committee. Under his chairmanship he was responsible for: identifying the need for a major expansion of the library from 43,000 square feet to 107,000 square feet; review, modifications, and approval of the program written by Robert Rohlf; analysis of alternative sites for possible relocation of the library; determination of the site as the existing site with the inclusion of a public alley and a portion of the adjoining parcel; solicitation, review and selection of a site planning consultant to analyze and determine the building massing based on the program for the selected site; modifications of the consultant's determinations to meet the Board's objectives; presentation to the City Council to obtain approvals and funding; solicitation, review, interviewing, and selection of a competition advisor; formulation of competition requirements with the advisor; presentation of the board decisions at a public forum. The City and the Library Board accepted and the winning solution from the national competition.