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Adams Street Branch Library Public Art Project

The City of Boston invited artists and artist teams to apply to create permanent public artwork for the new Adams Street Branch Library.

This project is currently in the contracting phase.

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Project Details

Project Context

The Adams Street Branch Library is currently closed for a $12.6 million construction of a new library building. That will open in 2021. The renovation is being led by the architecture firm NADAAA. It will double the size of the branch, and will feature:

  • a larger community room
  • conference room
  • study room
  • music room, and
  • a reading garden.

The budget for the public art project is $300,000. The call to artists is for a permanent artwork. It is open to national and international artists, with a strong preference for artists connected to Dorchester. 

Questions were accepted through September 9, 2020. View the answers here. A virtual question-and-answer session was held on September 9. Watch the recording here.

The deadline to apply has passed.

Community Values

The branch’s design and various spaces reflect the needs and desires of the community. Artists may wish to consider these project elements when applying:

  • The project includes the protection of an oak tree. Attendees of the first public meeting asked to keep the tree rooted in place on the library grounds.
  • Ideas for increasing the sustainability of the development are already under way. These include a plan to retain the stormwater generated on the site.
  • Additional teen and children’s spaces were central to the design.
  • The inclusion of a reading garden in addition to the other outdoor spaces was an important element for the branch users.
Project Site

Three potential exterior sites were identified as initial suggestions for the location of the artwork. The selected artist or team will work with the City to pick the final site.

Rendering of Adams Street Branch Library
Courtesy of NADAAA
Rendering of Adams Street Branch Library
Courtesy of NADAAA

Rendering of Adams Street Branch Library
Courtesy of NADAAA
Rendering of Adams Street Branch Library
Courtesy of NADAAA

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