Rereading the Library: A Cultural Conservation Approach to Determining the Architectural Significance of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, Maryland
Flathman, Jennifer L.
The 1932 Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland, marked a turning point in library design by employing architectural features that supported a service goal of inspiring public use, prompting changes in libraries throughout America. Libraries and the Preservation movement share common development patterns, having evolved from narrow cultural agendas to an emphasis on materials, and now addressing broader social issues. Thus, the institution invites an examination of the expansion of the Historic Preservation field from its traditional emphasis on the tangible evidence of the past. A shift in the discipline to a conservation approach predicated upon civic involvement,integrated planning, and impermanent design strategies can preserve our communities as well as the aesthetic features of landmark buildings. The project examines the preservation accomplishments of this cultural and architectural landmark and provides conservation-oriented strategies to assist the library in remaining a vital center of community connection for the city.