HSP Begins Renovation Project

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania has begun a $5.7 million renovation project to its building at 1300 Locust Street to expand collection storage, upgrade security, and improve the visitor experience. The renovations are expected to last through October 2013.

During the renovations, the research library will remain open; however, the main entrance on Locust Street will be closed, and visitors will enter the building through the 13th Street entrance. 

Certain collection materials will periodically be temporarily unavailable to both on-site and online researchers. A list of unavailable collections is posted on the HSP website and will change over the course of the renovation project. Researchers are advised to check this listing before planning a visit.

Collection Care

The Historical Society has taken several steps to improve the safety of its world renowned collection housed in a 100-year-old historic building. The renovations include upgrading the security system and repairing the building’s façade. Other planned improvements will be the replacement of the roof and new HVAC systems and controls. Storage areas will be protected with new sprinkler systems.    

Compact Storage

In three key storage areas, compact storage units will be installed in order to provide additional capacity for expansion of the collections. Before these storage areas are converted, the collections in them will be inventoried and assigned bar codes, which will provide better access for researchers. Other improvements of these storage areas will help to reduce energy costs.  

Lobby and Reference Room

The lobby of the HSP library will be transformed to provide better customer service, beginning with a user-friendly reception desk, electronic registration, additional seating, larger lockers, and a patron lounge. The lobby will feature digital information screens, as well as a recognition wall for our donors and supporters. In the Reference Room, visitors will enjoy an “information commons” with computer stations, new microfilm readers and digital copier, improved lighting, and exhibit cases to display original documents from HSP’s collection.

The Historical Society is working with SaylorGregg Architects and general contractor P. Agnes. The security consultant is Layne Consulting and the design consultant is Cloud Gehshan Associates.

For information about the availability of collection materials, contact Senior Director of the Library and Collections Lee Arnold at larnold@hsp.org.

For information about supporting this project, please contact Senior Director of Development Marygrace Gilmore at mgilmore@hsp.org or 215-732-6200 ext. 217.

For information about the renovation project, contact Chief Operating Officer Michael Hairston at mhairston@hsp.org.