Bill TruslowThe Class of 1945 Library is a square building 111 by 111 feet, occupying a total footprint of 12,321 square feet. The finished grade from the ground to the top of the lower parapet (what people can see from the road) is almost 80 feet, although the height to the top of the highest parapet, in the center of the roof, is 85.5 feet.
There are nine levels in the building, although not all are apparent from the outside. The basement contains special facilities for microforms and bound periodicals (both collections being the largest of any secondary school), as well as space for the school’s archives. The ground floor houses the periodicals collection.
The first floor is flooded with natural light from large unbroken expanses of glass on the north and west sides, as well as from clerestory windows at the very top of its 70-foot height. The hall is 50 feet square, with large circular holes, which almost touch at the corners of the concrete piers, through which one sees the metal book stacks behind white oak panels. Located on the first floor, in addition to the central hall, are the circulation desk, card catalog, reference collection, and staff offices.
Woodcut by John DePolUpper floors include a student computer lab, a viewing area for videotapes and DVDs, book stacks for 250,000 volumes, listening areas for compact discs, offices for use of faculty members, and 210 specially designed study carrels for students. Other than Floor 1M, all upper floors have windows on all sides.
A number of rooms and areas in the library have been endowed by generous donors or named in honor of former faculty members or alumni/ae of the Academy. In addition to rooms, various furnishings and paintings are also gifts.
There are approximately 450 seats of all types, including a third floor lounge area with comfortable furniture and fireplaces. On the top (fourth) floor are two seminar rooms (one the gift of the Class of 1951) for class use and two rooms, given by Thomas and Corliss Lamont, for the housing and exhibition of special collections. A terrace for reading in pleasant weather encircles the fourth floor rooms.
While the gross footage of the library is 88,984 square feet, usable space totals 73,254 square feet, with some variation in the usable space on each floor.
The layout of each floor is representative of the library when it was first occupied. However, the placement of some shelving, particularly on the Basement and Ground floors, changed from these layouts before the building was occupied.