The New Rochelle Public Library is the centerpiece of the city’s downtown master plan. For this central civic structure, LHPA converted an automobile garage into an award winning library, with 75,000 square feet on three levels. In addition to a full scale library collection, reading areas and offices, the building contains an art gallery, a community center, auditorium for lectures, films, concerts, and plays; meeting rooms, coffee shop, media center and a children's center.

By installing solar collectors and channeling the energy through the building, what was once a storage facility for energy consuming vehicles is now an energy recycling and conserving facility serving the entire community.

Because the library serves many community functions, it includes both public and private zones. The public area contains a lounge, an exhibition space, a coffee shop and the foyer for the new auditorium. The library portion of the building, opposite the main lobby, can be closed off by a rolling screen, leaving the public spaces accessible for nighttime or off hour use. Continuity of the building’s internal activities and external movement system with New Rochelle’s downtown activities encourages and enhances community use of the building.

Internal activities and external pedestrian circulation patterns encourage extensive community use of the building. LHPA’s plan further encourages use by linking the library with major downtown shops and businesses via a pedestrian walkway.



  • Award of Excellence, American Institute of Architects and American Library Association

  • Merit for Community Development Design, New York State Association of Architects

  • Special Award for Excellence in Design, New York State Association of Architects


  • Solar Oriented Library; Interiors

  • A National Award For New Rochelle; The New York Times

  • Levels of conserving; Progressive Architecture

  • Solar Oriented Library: Recycling a 1926 Brick Garage Breathes Life into a Fading Downtown; Interiors

  • Six Libraries Win Design Awards; American Libraries

  • New Rochelle Public Library; Library Journal