Pratt Library downtown to close for first 10 days of March

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Crews at work on the inside of Enoch Pratt Free Library Central. Photo by Eli Pousson/Baltimore Heritage, via Flickr.

Enoch Pratt Free Library patrons are no doubt eager to see the finished product of $115 million in renovations on the Central Library on Cathedral Street downtown—and the library is approaching the finish line.

But a fair share of work remains, including getting the stacks back to their original locations in the historic building.

That’s why Enoch Pratt Central is shutting down from next Friday, March 1, through March 10. Spokeswoman Meghan McCorkell said in an email that crews will be moving collections back onto the first floor, “which you can imagine is quite the undertaking.”

But come March 11, McCorkell said the first floor will once again house the library’s adult collections, and the public will be able to access the main level, which has been off-limits during construction.

Other work to be completed this summer, McCorkell said, includes installing technology throughout the building and “refreshing spaces that have been utilized for other purposes,” like clearing out the Creative Arts Center that’s been holding the library’s fine arts collection throughout construction.

Crews have been working on the 86-year-old building since summer of 2016, and the library has been shrouded in scaffolding on the outside.

Enoch Pratt’s website said the renovations will create more public space for patrons, a new teen and young adult wing, an expanded children’s department, a regally restored central hall and a dedicated career center. The library has also been updating its bathrooms and technology infrastructure, among other other changes to the interior.

McCorkell said the library has set Sept. 14 as the tentative date for its grand reopening celebration.

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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in CityLab, Slate, Baltimore City Paper, DCist and elsewhere.
Ethan McLeod
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