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Saint Charles Seminary Ryan Memorial Library

architecture, renovation, adaptive reuse
100,000 Volumes
Wynnewood, PA

As the research center of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, the official seminary of the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Ryan Memorial Library serves the students in the college, theology, diaconate, and graduate divisions. The library had its beginnings with the foundation of the Seminary in 1832.

In order to meet Vatican requirements necessary to grant a papal degree, the St. Charles Seminary needed to expand its library collection by 100,000 volumes, and their historic facility along with it. WRT explored different approaches to renovating or replacing the existing Ryan Memorial Library, and a plan for renovation and expansion was selected. Realization of the project consisted of the complete renovation of the existing library facility, the conversion of a large gymnasium into additional library space, and the overall functional reconfiguration of the historic two-story building, which was opened in 1911. Particular emphasis was placed on seamlessly reconnecting the library to the architecture and the activity patterns of adjacent buildings.

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