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Carpenter Memorial Library

Manchester, NH


Constructed in 1912-14, and designed by Edward Tilton, the Carpenter Memorial Library is a monumental, classical marble structure. When completed, it was a state-of-the-art facility, with a central rotunda and large open spaces for collections and reading rooms. Ninety years after its completion, the building was in need of cleaning, restoration and new climate control systems.

The design solution for climate control maintains the building's unique architectural integrity, as the systems are virtually invisible to the Library patrons. A giant air handler and energy recovery units are installed within the attic space of the Library. Duct runs were made through light chases to ventilate the majestic first floor spaces. The existing radiators were replaced with fan coil units, which heat and cool the first floor reading rooms and library stacks. The central rotunda was employed as a "chimney" to bring the introduced air back to the attic units by vertical convection.

Renovations to the structure also included the arresting of constant water intrusion into the building with the repair of the tile roof and introduction of a new built-in gutter system. The front stairway and terraces were re-constructed, site lighting was introduced, and a new accessible entrance and ramp were constructed on the North side of the building.