Helpern Architects

Columbia Low Library

New York, New York
Columbia University

Low Memorial Library – for many years the architectural centerpiece of the Morningside Campus – was architect Charles McKim’s 1897 triumph. No longer a library, Low today houses the offices of the President and senior administration, and Columbia’s Archival Collection.

Before starting to restore the iconic dome, Helpern Architects prepared a condition assessment study that investigated its structure, envelope, and building systems.

Work on Low’s interior included the President’s suite of offices and the suitably high-tech conference room of Jeffery Sachs, the director of Columbia’s Earth Institute.

The work on the 132-ft-high masonry dome has been covered by both The New York Times and Architectural Record as “an architectural-engineering detective story.” It was featured at the national conference of the Society for College and University Planning.

Photos: © Marian Paredes Suarez