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Norman B. Leventhal Map Center

Boston, Massachusetts

The Boston Public Library established the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center to provide free, worldwide access to an extraordinary collection of 200,000 original historic maps and 5,000 atlases. In designing this new Center to help convey the significance of the map to human history, Gensler reworked a former library reading room. This state-of-the-art facility transitions from a double-height entry gallery with views into the adjacent courtyard, to a display and educational suite, to more intimate areas for scholarly research and conservation. The design respects the library’s historic context and discreetly incorporates the high-tech temperature and humidity control systems needed to protect fragile archival materials.