Chicago Public Library Archives. Harold Washington Library Center, Design Build Competition Records

Dates: 1987-1991
Size: 22.5 linear feet, includes 471 slides and two VHS video recordings
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, 400 S. State Street, Chicago, IL 60605
Collection Number : L00120
Provenance: CPL archivists gathered these records, presumably from around the time of the competition.
Access: No restrictions. Researchers, some of this material must be requested 24 hours in advance of use.
Citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: Chicago Public Library Archives, Harold Washington Library Center, Design Build Competition Records, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections, Chicago Public Library
Processed by: Morag Walsh, 2019

Historical Note

In 1970, after over 70 years of continuous operation, with only minimal maintenance and repairs, the Central Library Building of the Chicago Public Library began showing signs of age. Space was inadequate for the large book collection. The mechanical, electrical, communication and heating systems were obsolete and inefficient. There were some calls to demolish the building and move the Library elsewhere, allowing the site to be turned over to commercial use. These ideas were put aside when the Library building was given historic architectural and landmark status in November 1976.

In 1974, the Board of Directors authorized a massive renovation of the aging Central Library building, a process that took three years and cost $11 million. The architectural firm of Holabird & Root developed the renovation plan. When the Chicago Public Library Cultural Center opened in October 1977, it was able to provide free access to not only books and other materials, but also a year-round schedule of free programs, lectures, films, plays, concerts and exhibits.

Although the total renovation of the old Central Library was a great success, there was still a need for more space for the Library’s growing collections. Opinions varied between adding on to the existing building or constructing an entirely new building. After years of debate and discussion between the Library Board and the Chicago City Council, Mayor Harold Washington determined the City should build an entirely new building for the Central Library. Today, the former Chicago Public Library is known as the Chicago Cultural Center and is home to many arts programs as well as the offices of the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

The designated site for the new Central Library was 400 S. State Street, a one-and-a-half block tract in the South Loop area. On July 29, 1987, Mayor Washington and the City Council authorized a design/build competition and approved a bond issue to finance the project. Under the rules of the competition, architects and builders teamed up to design the new Central Library within the set price of $144 million. The design/build approach assured that the City’s expense was limited to the cost of the bond issue. The design/build team was selected based on both design and cost criteria. The design selection process as well as other building plans included significant input from citizens’ groups, architectural experts and government officials.

The Library Board named the new building after the late Mayor, Harold Washington, and Chicago’s first African American mayor, a great lover of books and advocate of the Chicago Public Library, who had died on November 25, 1987.

The five finalist entries for the competition were:

The SEBUS Group (winner). U.S. Equities, Developers; with Hammond, Beeby & Babka, Inc., Design Architects; Schal Associates, Inc., General Contractors; A. Epstein and Sons, International, Architects of Record and Structural Engineer; Delon Hampton & Associates, Architects and Engineers.

The Chicago Library Team. Tishman Midwest Management Group, Developers; Murphy/Jahn, Architects; Paschen Contractors, Inc., General Contractors.

Metropolitan-Lohan. Metropolitan Structures, Developers and Contractors; Lohan Associates, Architects; Chris P. Stephanos Associates, Structural Engineering.

John Buck Company. John Buck Company, Developers; Vickrey/Ovresat/Awsumb Associates, Inc., Architects; Arthur Erickson Architects Ltd., (Canada), Architects; Turner Construction Company, Contractors.

Library ’88 Partnership. Stein & Company, Developers; Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, Architects, Legoretta Arquitectos, A.C., Architects; Morse/Diesel, Inc., Construction Management.

Norman Ross, Chairman of the Citizen Jury, announced the winner on June 20, 1988. By a vote of 9-2, the winning entry was the proposal put forward by the SEBUS Group.

City officials, including Library Commissioner John B. Duff and Mayor Eugene Sawyer, participated in the groundbreaking for the new Central Library on October 13, 1988. Construction took almost three years. Mayor Richard M. Daley, the Library Board, Commissioner Duff and staff joined with the public and dignitaries for the dedication on Friday, October 4, 1991. An open house to unveil the new Library to Chicagoans was held on Sunday, October 6, 1991, and the following day, on Monday, October 7, 1991, the Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washington Library Center opened to the public.

Scope and Content Note

These records include the official Competition Program, the Building Program, submittals from the five finalists, a selection of slides from the finalists’ presentations, a video of the finalists’ presentations and a copy of a Nova television production, Design Wars. In addition, there is a small gathering of files related to the jurying process and a selection of the comment cards that the public were invited to complete and submit. Please note that the public comment cards must be requested 24 hours in advance.

Arrangement

Records are arranged by broadly by type; office files; official competition documents; materials submitted by the five finalists; audio/visual material; public comment cards.

Related Materials

Harold Washington Archives and Collections, Community Services Sub-Cabinet Records, Chicago Public Library Series
Eugene Sawyer Mayoral Records, Community Services Sub-Cabinet Records Series, Chicago Public Library Subseries
Chicago Public Library Archives, Harold Washington Library Center, Construction Photographs
Chicago Public Library Archives, Board of Directors Proceedings

Subject Headings

  • Architecture — Competitions — Illinois — Chicago.
  • Chicago Library Team
  • Chicago Public Library — Archives.
  • Chicago Public Library — Buildings — Designs and Plans.
  • Design-build Process (Construction Industry)
  • Duff, John B.
  • John Buck Company
  • Library '88 Partnership
  • Metropolitan-Lohan
  • Ross, Norman
  • SEBUS Group

Container List

Series 1 – Office files, 1987-1991

Box 1 Folder 1 Library Center, Briefing Book, City of Chicago, 1987 July
Box 1 Folder 2 Library Center Competition, Professional Advisor’s Meeting, transcript, 1988 February 10
Box 1 Folder 3 Competition and Jury schedules, 1987 October 28
Box 1 Folder 4 Selection Jury, minutes, 1988 June 18
Box 1 Folder 5 Juror’s Notebook, 1987 December
Box 1 Folder 6 Jury, Henry M. Cobb, papers, 1988
Box 1 Folder 7 Jury, Norman Ross, correspondence to each competitor, 1988 January 6
Box 1 Folder 8 Final Jurying, correspondence material, all contestants, 1988
Box 1 Folder 9 Final Jurying, Library 88, video script, 1988
Box 1 Folder 10 Final Jurying, photographs submitted by competitors, list, 1988
Box 1 Folder 11 Final Jurying, photographs submitted by Team A (Library 88), 24 photos, 1988
Box 1 Folder 12 Final Jurying, photographs submitted by Team B (Metropolitan Lohan), 29 photos, 1988
Box 1 Folder 13 Final Jurying, photographs submitted by Team C (Paschen-Tishman-Jahn), 39 photos, 1988
Box 1 Folder 14 Final Jurying, photographs submitted by Team D (SEBUS), 20 photos, 1988
Box 1 Folder 15 Final Jurying, photographs submitted by Team E (Buck), 19 photos, 1988
Box 2 Folder 1 Final Jurying, photographs of model submitted by Buck/Turner, 1988
Box 2 Folder 2 Final Jurying, SEBUS, 1988
Box 2 Folder 3 Final Jurying, poster, Jahn, 1988
Box 2 Folder 4 Final Jurying, Metropolitan Lohan, 1988
Box 2 Folder 5 Final Jurying, Library 88, 1988
Box 2 Folder 6 Final Jurying, Buck/Turner, 1988
Box 2 Folder 7 Final Jurying, contact list for competitors, 1988
Box 3 Folder 1 Design Build Competition Program (Draft), 1988 January 25
Box 3 Folder 2 Performance specifications, 1988 January-February
Box 3 Folder 3 Performance specifications, site work, 1988 January 11
Box 3 Folder 4 Newspaper clippings, articles about Harold Washington Library Center, circa 1988-1990
Oversize Folder 1   A Reader’s Guide to the New Central Library, Arts Section of the Chicago Tribune, 1991 September 15 [s copies]
Oversize Folder 1   Read All About It, The New Washington Library, Special Section of the Chicago Sun-Times, 1991 September 29
Box 3 Folder 5 Public commentary, compilation, #1-1137, 1988 [see boxes 17-19 for public comment cards]
Box 3 Folder 6 Public commentary, compilation, #1138-1800, 1988 [see boxes 17-19 for public comment cards]
Box 3 Folder 7 Public commentary, correspondence, loose comment cards, 1988 [see boxes 17-19 for public comment cards]
Box 3 Folder 8 Poster, Design Build, 1988
Box 4 Folder 1 Orientation meeting for design teams, verbatim transcript, 1988 January 25
Box 4 Folder 2 Orientation meeting for design teams, verbatim transcript, 1988 January 26
Box 4 Folder 3 Orientation meeting for design teams, verbatim transcript, 1988 January 27
Box 4 Folder 4 Policy advisory meeting, 1987 June 2
Box 4 Folder 5 Policy recommendations, Carow Team, 1987 June 2
Box 4 Folder 6 Request for clarification and response, Buck, 1988
Box 4 Folder 7 Request for clarification and response, Library 88, 1988
Box 4 Folder 8 Request for clarification and response, Metropolitan Lohan, 1988
Box 4 Folder 9 Request for clarification and response, Paschen-Tishman-Jahn, 1988
Box 4 Folder 10 Request for clarification and response, SEBUS, 1988
Box 4 Folder 11 Space requirements for new library, circa 1987-1988
Box 4 Folder 12 Site Planning Report, circa 1987
Box 5 Folder 1 Schal/Mortenson, Construction Schedule Update, 1990 October 10
Box 5 Folder 2 Schal/Mortenson, Construction Schedule Update, 1991 January 10
Box 5 Folder 3 Schal/Mortenson, Construction Schedule Update, 1991 February 10, revised
Box 5 Folder 4 Schal/Mortenson, Superintendent’s Daily Log, 1990 November 19-30
Box 5 Folder 5 Schal/Mortenson, Superintendent’s Daily Log, 1990 December
Box 5 Folder 6 Schal/Mortenson, Superintendent’s Daily Log, 1991 January
Box 5 Folder 7 Schal/Mortenson, Superintendent’s Daily Log, 1991 February 1-15
Box 6 Folder 1 SEBUS Group, monthly report, 1990 September
Box 6 Folder 2 SEBUS Group, monthly report, 1990 November
Box 6 Folder 3 SEBUS Group, monthly report, 1990 December
Box 6 Folder 4 SEBUS Group, monthly report, 1991 January
Box 6 Folder 5 SEBUS Group, weekly report, 1990 November 30
Box 6 Folder 6 SEBUS Group, weekly report, 1990 December 7
Box 6 Folder 7 SEBUS Group, weekly report, 1990 December 14
Box 6 Folder 8 SEBUS Group, weekly report, 1990 December 21
Box 6 Folder 9 SEBUS Group, weekly report, 1991 January 11
Box 6 Folder 10 SEBUS Group, weekly report, 1991 January 18
Box 6 Folder 11 SEBUS Group, weekly report, 1991 January 25
Box 6 Folder 12 SEBUS Group, weekly report, 1991 February 1
Box 6 Folder 13 SEBUS Group, weekly report, 1991 February 22
Box 6 Folder 14 Six-week schedule, 1990 October 13 - 1990 December 31
Box 6 Folder 15 GME Consultants, Compaction Test Reports, 1990
Box 6 Folder 16 GME Consultants, Concrete Strength Reports, 1990
Box 6 Folder 17 GME Consultants, Daily Field Reports, 1990 November – 1991 February 13
Box 6 Folder 18 GME Consultants, Dynamic Cone Penetrometer Reports, 1990
Box 6 Folder 19 GME Consultants, Masonry Flexural Bond Strength Reports, 1991
Box 6 Folder 20 GME Consultants, Mortar Strength Reports, 1990
Box 7 Folder 1 Street address for Harold Washington Library Center, 1988
Box 7 Folder 2 Area Development and Transportation - Traffic Report, 1987 May 7
Box 7 Folder 3 Design Build Insight 1988-1989
Box 7 Folder 4 Build Illinois Bond Fund Agreement ($5m grant),1989
Box 7 Folder 5 Special Collections location within Chicago Cultural Center/Harold Washington Library Center, 1990
Box 7 Folder 6 Chicago Public Library Forum at Merchandise Mart Conference Center, verbatim transcript, 1987 September 7
Box 7 Folder 7 Interior signs and directories, design review, 1990
Box 7 Folder 8 Telecommunications Consulting Proposal, Telecommunications Inc., 1988
Box 7 Folder 9 Telecommunications Consulting Proposal, Chas. E. Day and Associates, 1988
Box 7 Folder 10 Percent for Art Program, press conference release, 1990 October 23
Box 7 Folder 11 Urban Design Criteria, 1987 November 23-23
Box 8 Folder 1 General correspondence and reports, Sam Morrison’s files, 1986
Box 8 Folder 2 General correspondence and reports, Sam Morrison’s files, 1987
Box 8 Folder 3 General correspondence and reports, Sam Morrison’s files, 1988
Box 8 Folder 4 General correspondence and reports, Sam Morrison’s files, 1989
Box 8 Folder 5 Request for qualifications, draft, 1987 October 7
Box 8 Folder 6 Request for qualifications, draft, 1987 December 2
Box 8 Folder 7 Harold Washington Library Center, Contract, draft, 1988 December 13
Box 8 Folder 8 Chicago Historical Society, proposal to accession Design Build materials, 1987
Box 8 Folder 9 Agreement for Preparation of a Design Build Model and invitation to submit models, 1988 January-February
Box 8 Folder 10 Contents of panels accompanying architectural models, circa 1988
Box 8 Folder 11 Exhibit of models, 1988 September
Box 8 Folder 12 Exhibition of models in Cultural Center, storage of models after exhibit, 1988
Box 8 Folder 13 Exhibition of models in Cultural Center, 1988 May-July
Box 8 Folder 14 Technical Specifications and Narrative, John Buck Proposal, 1988
Box 8 Folder 15 Energy System Evaluations by competitors, 1987 June 6

Series 2 – Official Competition Documents, 1988

Box 9 Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago Public Library, Building Program, Volumes I and II [2 binders] circa 1988
Box 10 Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago Public Library, Competition Program [1 binder] 1988 January 25

Series 3 – Materials Submitted by the Five Finalists, 1988

Box 10 Harold Washington Library Center, Design Build Competition, Metropolitan-Lohan Proposal [1 binder] 1988 May 9
Box 11 Harold Washington Library Center, Library ’88 Partnership Proposal, Volumes I and II [2 binders] 1988
Box 12 Harold Washington Library Center, Library ’88 Partnership Proposal, Appendix [1 binder] 1988
Box 12 Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago Public Library, The John Buck Company Proposal [1 binder] 1988
Box 13 Harold Washington Library Center, International Design Build Competition, Paschen, Tishman, Jahn, Volumes I and II [4 binders] 1988
Box 14 Proposal from Metropolitan-Lohan [1 oversize binder] 1988
Box 14 Proposal from Library ’88 Partnership [1 oversize binder] 1988
Box 14 Proposal from SEBUS [3 oversize binders] 1988

Series 4 – Audio/Visual Materials, 1988

Box 15 Folder 1 Presentation slides [79], Presentation “L”, SEBUS, 1988
Box 15 Folder 2 Presentation slides [103], Presentation “R” and loose lying, SEBUS, 1988
Box 15 Folder 3 Presentation slides [105], Presentation “L”, Library ’88 Partnership, 1988
Box 15 Folder 4 Presentation slides [82], Presentation “R”, Library ’88 Partnership, 1988
Box 15 Folder 5 Presentation slides [38], John Buck Company, 1988
Box 15 Folder 6 Presentation slides [62], Metropolitan-Lohan, 1988
Box 15 Folder 7 Presentation slides [2], Chicago Library Team, 1988
Box 16   VHS video recording, Nova Design Wars, 1988 [6 copies]
Box 16   VHS video recording, Harold Washington International Design Build Competition, Presentations of Design Build Proposals, 1988 May [3 copies]

Series 5 – Public Comment Cards, 1988

Box 17 Public Comment Cards, 1988 [requires 24 hour paging]
Box 18 Public Comment Cards, 1988 [requires 24 hour paging]
Box 19 Public Comment Cards, 1988 [requires 24 hour paging]
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