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Harvard University Library Notes / May 2006 / No. 1331
HUL Inaugurates New Multi-Service Facility at 90 Mt. Auburn Street
On Monday, May 8, the Harvard University Library (HUL) inaugurated operations from its new multi-service facility at 90 Mt. Auburn Street. For the first time, HUL's Office for Information Systems (OIS), Weissman Preservation Center (WPC), and Open Collections Program (OCP), as well Cambridge-based personnel for the Harvard Depository and HUL human resources, are operating under a single roof.
As May 8 approached, Sidney Verba, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the University Library, wrote, "We believe that the synergies achieved by locating these programs in a shared space will lead to new and higher levels of thoughtful service to the Harvard libraries."
The new facility, constructed and operated by Harvard Real Estate Services, was designed by Leers Weinzapfel Associates Architects of Boston. The interior fit-out for HUL, including a state-of-the-art special-collections conservation lab, was designed by Samuel Anderson Architects of New York City. With its geothermal heating and cooling systems and a range of other features, 90 Mt. Auburn Street is one of the "greenest" buildings at Harvard University.
According to Verba, "President Rudenstine had a vision of a Harvard building—constructed on the only potential building site that remained in the Square—that would make an architectural statement, a statement of modernity and the vibrancy of our Cambridge urban setting. I believe that the architects have succeeded in so doing.
"That it was President Rudenstine who began the process that led to our new home indicates how long this building has been in the works," Verba continued. "It has been a long time coming. That the building was offered to HUL by the Central Administration represented a wonderful opportunity to bring together our core programs into one location to create a more coherent and integrated organization. The location is significant. It is not only the last place in the Harvard Square area where new space could be created, it is also a location that is convenient to most of our major libraries. We are lucky to have it."