Skip to content Skip to navigation

First Floor Renovations

The Plan

The first floor will be reconfigured to accommodate a better flow for members and visitors entering and exiting the Boston Athenæum. Inspiration for the design came from traditional library desks, as can be seen in the examples pictured here.

The renovation will take place in July and August, during the quietest months, in order to minimize disruption. Members will see a new and better-designed Circulation Desk that will also provide space for a new staff member, the Visitor Services Coordinator, which will improve services for visitors and members alike.

Timeline of Project

  • May-June: The Trustees approved a plan and budget that librarians, curators, and staff from the Events, Education, Engineering, and Membership Departments drafted and refined over several months
  • July 6: Demolition of current Circulation Desk starts
    • A temporary wall will screen the work area
    • During the renovation, the Circulation Desk will temporarily move into the Bow Room, nearer the New Book Shelves
    • During the renovation, all services will be available.

We apologize for any unavoidable inconvenience

  • Labor Day weekend: All work will be completed

What does this mean for members?

We ask members to pardon our appearance and noise disruptions during the renovation.

Members will still be able to check out books, renew books, ask for books to be held, etc. at the Circulation Desk in its temporary relocation to the first-floor Bow Room.

All services will continue to be offered during the renovation.

Members may continue to pay for and pick up print requests at the Circulation Desk at its temporary location in the first-floor Bow Room.

For more information:

Please direct questions to Mary Warnement,