Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
O'Keefe Library

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Institution Name: St. Ambrose University
Original/Historic Place Name: O'Keefe Library
Location on Campus: 518 W Locust St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1995-1996original construction Woollen, Evans Woollen, Mozlan & Partners
Designer: Evans Woollen of Woollen, Mozlan & Partners
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Postmodern, Contemporary (Glossary)
Significance: education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Materials:
Foundation: concrete
Walls: brick
Roof: copper
 
Function:
ca. 1996-present (2006)library
 

Narrative:
For most of the history of St. Ambrose University, the library has shared space with other university functions including administration, classrooms, and for a time, a student center. O'Keefe Library was built in 1996 to serve solely as a library. The 58,000 square foot building has a shelf capacity of 250,000 volumes, computer linkages at each table and carrel, small private study rooms, and can serve up to 400 users. The interior features a three-story atrium capped by skylights.

The building was designed to suggest a northern Italian public building with a detached tower which serves as a fire escape. The series of rounded arches are taken from the Basilica of Saint Ambrose in Milan and link the library to the University patron.
 

References:

Farrell, Anthony G. Bees and Bur Oaks: 100 Years of St. Ambrose College. Davenport, IA: St. Ambrose College, 1982.

 

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Last update: November 2006