Transforming Olin into a 21st Century Library

Olin Library Renovation, 2001-2004

Olin Library Wins Keystone Award: The renovation of the John M. Olin Library won the Keystone Project of the Year Award in the category of interior build-out project in 2005.

See the Renovation website for photos and other information. Here's a PDF copy of a brochure showing the completion of the project. Please note that as an archival site, some items display oddly and some links are broken.


  • Makes Olin more high-tech and user-friendly
  • Adds 17,000 square feet on the main level
  • Creates a cybercafe and 24-hour study space
  • Establishes a Technology Center to support digital projects and instruction
  • Reconfigures interior for better visibility and convenience
  • Moves main entrance to south side of the building
  • Upgrades HVAC and electrical systems
  • Preserves the architectural integrity of this award-winning building

new front of Olin at dusk
New south face of Olin at dusk.

Renovation Completed (pdf)

Olin Rededication!
May 7, 2004

Progress in Photos
Project Description
Locations & Relocations
see also
Timeline of Renovation
Floor plans of Olin

The John M. Olin Library -- the main library in the Washington University Libraries system -- was rededicated on May 7, 2004 after an expansion and comprehensive renovation. Begun in May, 2001, the objective was to transform the 40+-year-old building into a state-of-the-art library for the 21st century.

Olin has remained open throughout the three-year renovation, fulfilling its central and unique role at Washington University. On the average day, some 3,000 individuals visit Olin Library, one of the most-visited buildings on campus. Thousands more visit our website or use any of the 13 other libraries on our three campuses.

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