My clients had lived in their 1910, four-square home for over 30 years when they decided to make a few changes. These included upgrades to the existing house, a new kitchen and the addition of a two-story private library to house their extensive collection of books on the history of science. The bar for excellence was set very high from the be-ginning. Not only was there a concern for historic integrity, but the library needed to be open to adjacent living spaces, while providing safe and secure storage for books and manuscripts.
This beautiful library and home is the result of many years of patience, hard work and most important, a close and continuing collaboration among the architect, a team of craftsmen builders and the owners. Scientific iconography is imbedded in the stained glass, the bookcases, and the Darwin-inspired fireplace, and high tech systems maintain proper temperature, humidity and security.
I have come to realize that, no matter how beautiful the architecture, this is a just the latest home for an amazing collection of books that have survived for hundreds of years in palaces, monasteries and castles throughout the world. In retrospect, its seems as though our team was guided by the sixteenth century astronomer, Tycho Brahe, who be-lieved that, "Neither power nor riches, but only art and science endure."