New/Old—Both! Designing for Heritage and Change | Newberry

New/Old—Both! Designing for Heritage and Change

Rendering of the new lighting on the Newberry front entrance.

Rendering of the new lighting on the Newberry front entrance. Image credit: ABA.

The Newberry's newly renovated lobby.

The Newberry’s newly renovated lobby. Photo credit: Tom Rossiter.

Steven Gerrard and Ann Beha

Steven Gerrard and Ann Beha

Architects Ann M. Beha and Steven G. Gerrard on the challenges of renovating historic buildings
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

6 to 7 pm

Ruggles Hall   

Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Open to the Public
Conversations at the Newberry

In this installment of “Conversations at the Newberry,” Ann M. Beha and Steven G. Gerrard will present work that renews—and challenges—historic settings, in support of new programs and identity.

They will explore the recent Newberry Library renovation—its purpose, principles, and design expression—to probe the issues of change and continuity for landmark buildings.

Download a PDF flyer for this event to post and distribute, and check out a research guide to collection materials about the Newberry’s history.

Ann Beha and Steven Gerrard have been colleagues for seventeen years. Their design work is marked by its strong historical, cultural, and educational content, and its advocacy for innovative contemporary design within landmark settings. For this reason, and its many design awards, ABA has been ranked as one of the nation’s 50 leading architectural practices for eight consecutive years. Based in Boston, ABA works nationally, and now, as architects for the American Embassy in Athens, internationally.

Ann’s projects include the University of Chicago Department of Economics and Becker Friedman Institute; the master plan for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History; the Center for the Humanities at Yale University; and special collections and exhibitions projects at the Newberry and the Grolier Club in New York City. Steve Gerrard’s design leadership is seen at the New Britain Museum of American Art, the Shelburne Museum, the student life and performance center at the New England Conservatory of Music, Olin Library at Washington University in Saint Louis, and, currently, at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, where he leads design for a new exhibition and library building. His hands-on approach to design is marked by a love of drawing and a dedication to the craft of building. Steve was Principal Designer for the Newberry project.

Ann is a graduate of Wellesley and MIT and was a Loeb Fellow at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University; Steve a graduate of Lawrence Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan. Given Chicago’s architectural legacy, and the Newberry’s remarkable staff, mission, and collections, Ann and Steve view their work at the Newberry as a particular honor.

“Conversations at the Newberry” is generously sponsored by Sue and Melvin Gray.

Your generosity is vital in keeping the library’s programs, exhibitions, and reading rooms free and accessible to everyone. Make a donation today.

Cost and Registration Information 

Free and open to the public; registration required. Register online using this form by 3 pm Tuesday, November 13.

Doors open half an hour before the program begins, with first-come, first-served seating for registered attendees. If seats remain available, walk-ins will be permitted to enter about ten minutes before the event’s start.

People with disabilities and other accessibility concerns can request to be seated first. To reserve an access-friendly space in the room, email at least 48 hours before the event. Seats arranged in this way will be held until 10 minutes before the event starts.

Questions? Contact us at or 312-255-3610.