The Newark Public Library has released preliminary renderings of its new Philip Roth Reading Room, which will house the Pulitzer Prize winner’s personal book collection. The reading room designed by Ann Beha Architects offers work and nature protection areas, extended seating and rooms for small groups.

After completion, the reading room will house around 7,000 individual volumes that were donated to the library by Roth’s will after his death in 2018. Roth has also agreed to donate at least $ 2 million of his estimated $ 10 million estate to the public library. Since these funds can only be used to purchase new books and library supplies, the Newark Public Library is currently raising funds to help finance the construction of the new reading room.

“The creation of the Philip Roth Personal Library has been a dream since Mr. Roth bequeathed his collection to us nearly five years ago,” said Joslyn Bowling Dixon, director of the Newark Public Library. “His books and personal effects are priceless and we knew the room needed to hold them [in] Eternity. “

As part of major renovations, the library also put new MEP and fire protection systems into operation, extensive temperature and humidity controls to protect the new collection, and a new heating and cooling system in the Centennial Hall, the building’s monumental oak paneling, auditorium and function room.

“It is an honor to be part of this project that is a living tribute to a great American writer whose Newark roots are deeply rooted,” said David Margolius, executive vice president of Shawmut Design and Construction, the project’s site manager. “While it is a unique responsibility to work on a building that is over a century old, our team uses their expertise to ensure that modernization and renovation of this landmark can serve the community for generations.”

Last November, Shawmut and Soho House donated 200 office furniture that will be used throughout the room and in the branch libraries.

The new reading room is expected to open by 2021.

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Ann Beha Architects Commercial New Jersey Newark Newark Public Library