Wilmette Public Library Renovation

The historic core of the Wilmette Public Library is a notable 1949 Holabird & Roche building which features classic Mid-century Modern detailing such as white oak casework, lannon stone accent walls, and an intimate fireplace seating area. The library has been expanded numerous times over the years, and the additions and renovations had obscured some of the historic design features. IDEA directed a comprehensive design project to revitalize the first floor and to unify the interior appearance by reintroducing elements of the original building design vocabulary. The entire first floor was renovated in 2005, including added capacity for patron seating and computer use; a new computer center; new media browsing area; an expanded large print collection; and a dedicated teen room. In 2015, IDEA was commissioned to renovate the remaining three floors, including designing a completely new Youth Services area and comprehensive reorganization of the administrative and technical services offices.


The project provided improved energy efficiency through new lighting and control systems, as well as a commitment to sustainable construction materials and practices as well as interior furnishings and finishes.

Awards & Recommendations

  • 2010 Village of Wilmette Historic Preservation Commission Design Award