The main Folger Shakespeare Library building was designed by architect Paul Philippe Cret and opened in 1932. The white marble exterior includes street-level bas-reliefs of scenes from Shakespeare’s plays and a large Art Deco window and door grilles in aluminum. A second Folger building, designed by architect Andrew Stephenson, was constructed in 2000.
In 2006, working with Cox Graae + Spack Architects, Silman provided a conditions assessment followed by structural design for a new mechanical system and skylight installation above an existing office wing.
Later work included a full building condition assessment including structural document review, inventory and assessment of the existing structural systems, preparation of a report with analysis and recommendation for repair and maintenance, feasibility study of adding compact shelving, and detailed investigation of the exterior bas-relief stone facade. The project also included a BIM implementation feasibility study and attachment of a picture rail in the exhibition hall. Following this condition assessment, Silman worked on the facade restoration of the library with John Milner Associates (completed in 2013).
Following the completion of a master plan, Silman is now engaged in ongoing tasks related to a one-story below-grade expansion and other interior renovations. For this project, Silman’s design includes a post-tensioned slab system to provide the desired clear spans in the new below-grade gallery space and a deep transfer girder to re-support the existing north wall.