New North Entrance Now Open

The North Side of Olin: Then and Now

North side of Olin before construction, Jun. 15, 2016. Photo by Patia Topping, Library Circulation Assistant.

The new entrance under construction, Apr. 13, 2017. Photo by Patia Topping, Library Circulation Assistant.

Preparing the North Entrance, May 12, 2017. Photo by Patia Topping, Library Circulation Assistant.

Library staff Ian Lanius, Special Collections Curatorial Assistant, and Micahel Schaefer, ILL Electronic Document Delivery Assistant, welcome visitors to the new North entrance, Nov. 1, 2017. Photo by Patia Topping, Library Circulation Assistant.

 

 

This week we are pleased to announce the official opening of the new north entrance to Olin library. This additional entrance, first proposed by Ann Beha Architects in 2013, is perhaps one of the most anticipated features of the Olin reconstruction.

When the library construction is complete, a wide pathway will connect the new north entrance to the existing south one, allowing students, staff, faculty, and visitors to walk through the building. It is hoped that this new entrance will increase traffic through the library and bring greater visibility to our many holdings and collections, selections of which will be on display in the new Thomas Gallery that is scheduled to open sometime next spring.

Photos from the Archives

Below are several historical photos from the University Archives that depict the north side of the building before its initial renovation in the early 2000s.

The north side of Olin Library in 1975. Photo from Washington University Photographic Services Collection.

Students on Olin’s “beach,” 1976. Photo from Washington University Photographic Services Collection.

 

North side of Olin, 1973. Photo from Washington University Photographic Services Collection.

North side of Olin, 1976. The statue depicted in this photo is currently located indoors by the Special Collections entrance. Photo from Washington University Photographic Services Collection.

As these pictures show, Olin used to have an outdoor seating area called “the beach” along Level Two of the library, accessible by an exterior staircase. A major goal of the current construction is to provide more indoor seating, including a balcony space called “Risa’s Landing” that will overlook Whisper’s Café.

If you are interested in seeing more historic photos of Olin Library, or any of the buildings on campus, please visit the Washington University Photographic Services Collection in the University Archives. You can locate the finding aid for this collection at http://archon.wulib.wustl.edu/index.php?p=collections/controlcard&id=153.

About the author

Rose is a PhD candidate in English and American Literature at Washington University in St. Louis. When she is not working on her dissertation on post-1945 asylum novels or blogging about the amazing materials in Special Collections, she fills much of her time reading, writing, gardening, and wrestling.