Mission :: History :: Reading Room :: Design :: LEED :: Image Gallery

Project Team :: Design Team :: Occupants :: Interior :: Exterior

Building Occupants

Following the renovation of Candler Library, many of the previous occupants returned to their places in the building. Additional programs and offices also took up residence in this wonderfully rejuvenated space.


First Floor:


Second Floor:


Third Floor:

  • William L. Matheson Reading Room

Fourth Floor:

Interior Construction

The Asa Griggs Candler Library building was originally constructed in 1926. In designing the interior elements of the renovation, respect for the original architecture was paramount. In addition, the design team was charged with developing creative solutions to seamlessly incorporate modern programs and building systems into the original structure.

The project entailed:

  • Reading Room Gutted

    Bookstacks and floors removed, April 2002


    Demolition of three bookstack floors and the mezzanine floor over this area
  • Rebuilding two floors to be used as reading rooms and office space at elevations that match the existing entrance and main floor levels

As in the original design, the area above the main floor remained open. A two-story addition was constructed simultaneously on the north side of the original building. The main stair, lobby, and Reading Room was restored to its historic condition and appearance. The remainder of the building has become contemporary classrooms and office spaces.

New shelving was designed to mimic the building's original built-in millwork shelving and was customized for use in the Reading Room. The color palette, which includes pale yellows, greens, and blues, was chosen to replicate 1920's era paint colors from the original construction period.

In summary, the design of the interior spaces in the renovation and the addition have returned Candler Library to its original elegance and intent.

Key Interior Elements

Molded plaster ceiling

Molded plaster ceiling detail

Ornamental Main Stair

Steel stair with marble treads, wrought iron railings, wooden handrails, marble landings and bases, plaster wall and ceiling moldings, open view from level to level

Reading Room, Grand Stair, and Lobby

Repair of molded plaster ceilings and detail, installation of custom millwork shelving in the Reading Room, Doric columns and frieze replacement in the lobby

Third Level Lobby

Two-level design of original delivery room, plaster and decorative columns

Third Level Reading Room

Wooden bases, doors, and entranceways, plaster moldings and piers, decorative columns, exterior windows, wooden shelving, open view between Reading Room and lounges

Fourth Floor

Refurbished interior skylight, windows overlooking fourth floor corridors

Exterior Construction

The exterior of the primary building remained with its original appearance with the exception of the cleaning, repairing, and replacement of some elements. The same design elements were incorporated into the construction of the new two-story addition to ensure a consistent look.

Key Exterior Elements

  • Candler Library


    Spanish tile roof
  • Copper and glass skylight
  • Built-up copper gutters and leaders
  • Ornamental copper cornices
  • Marble exterior cladding
  • Exterior marble stairs
  • Dashed stucco base
  • Fenestration patterns in marble
  • Original doors and entranceways
  • Torchere lamps at entrance
  • Exterior light fixtures

Marble & Stucco

The exterior of the building was clad with (about a 4-inch thick) veneer of pale gray and pink marble from the Tate quarries in northern Georgia. This original marble remained on the exterior. New white marble from the Tate quarries was installed on the two-story addition.

The marble steps at the main entrance were damaged over the years and were replaced with a matching pale gray and pink marble. The exposed basement is surfaced with a dashed Portland cement stucco. This stucco was badly stained with clay soil and was cleaned during the renovation.

Windows & Skylights

The windows were not energy efficient and were not salvageable. New windows have been installed which are very close in appearance to the original windows. The copper-clad skylight on top of the roof was repaired and reinstalled and will provide light to the area over the Reading Room entrance.

Roof Tiles

Candler addition

Constructing the addition


Candler's roof was covered with reddish-orange Spanish tiles produced by Ludowici Celadon Company of Chicago. Some of the roof tiles were damaged, and, due to years of weather, it would have been impossible to find replacement tiles with the exact same shading. Therefore, the tiles were removed and sold for re-use for another project. The same type of Ludowici Spanish tile was installed on both the original building and the addition and closely matched the building roofs in the surrounding Quadrangle area.


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