10/28/2013 03:27 pm ET Updated Oct 28, 2013

Harold Washington Library Getting $6 Million In Upgrades, Tune-Ups


Here's a change worth checking out: Chicago's flagship library is about to get a multi-million dollar spruce-up.

The Harold Washington Library branch in the heart of the Loop will see $6 million in tune-ups thanks to TIF funds Mayor Rahm Emanuel has earmarked in his 2014 budget, the Sun-Times reports.

While the 26-year-old library has seen plenty of investment over the years -- including the recently-debuted "maker lab" and the first floor's "popular library" -- the new changes are what Library Commissioner Brian Bannon insists are "not really sexy upgrades."

As NBC Chicago reports, the $6 million will go toward a new roof to replace the occasionally leaky one currently in place, backup generators and upgraded heating and cooling systems.

DNAinfo Chicago reported earlier in May, the Sulzer Regional Library in Lincoln Square is also slated for TIF-backed makeover to the tune of $5 million. As Bannon told the Sun-Times, he expects both branches to remain almost fully operational during the upgrade process that is expected to be finished by end of 2014.

The Harold Washington, once praised among the most beautiful public libraries in the U.S., is the largest free-standing public library in the country, according to Bannon.



Chicago's Library Nerve Center - The Harold Washington