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Building Plans

South Orange Public Library Board Selects Architect for Library Modernization

South Orange Public Library’s quest for a transformative makeover of the current facility is gaining speed. Library trustees voted unanimously on September 20 to engage the award-winning New York City-based firm Andrew Berman Architect.

The Connett Building, part of the SOPL Complex, to be connected via a link to the currently operating Library

The design process will begin immediately and is expected to move swiftly as extensive planning, including considerable public input, has already taken place. The firm will be charged with improving accessibility, functionality, sustainability and adaptability, while inspiring patrons with a dynamic, future-oriented design. Design development should be complete by Spring 2023.

“Andrew Berman stood out for his ability to create inspiring design solutions for complex institutional programs and sites,” said Library Board President Hildy Karp. “The firm easily met all our criteria, including having vast library experience and a record of exceeding client expectations.”

In a stroke of serendipity, Andrew Berman is already familiar with the Village and the Library, having spent his middle and high school years in South Orange. “I still remember looking through every art book on the shelves and borrowing LP records,” said Berman. “Through design, the significance of the library should be able to be felt more emphatically in the local context of the Village… The reimagined library should be accessible, welcoming, and foster a desire to discover and self-navigate.”

For more details, please read the full press release.

Big Changes Ahead for the South Orange Public Library

This rendering is for concept illustration only and does not reflect final design.

The vision of a 21st century library for South Orange is on its way to becoming reality. With a $6.5 million grant from the State, a matching commitment from the Village, and a plan to raise further support from the community, South Orange Public Library will expand and retool to serve the diverse, evolving needs of our community.


The project includes renovation of the current library, rehabilitation of the historic Connett library building, and construction of a link connecting the two buildings. The expansion and re-design will yield significant gains in accessibility, aesthetics, scope of services, technology, overall user experience, sustainability and capacity.


The library will nearly double in size, to 30,700 square feet. It will feature an expanded children’s room, a teen section, multiple small study and meeting rooms, a space for archives and historical collections, and so much more.


Exterior work on the Connett Building was recently completed, with funding from the State of NJ Historic Trust and the Village.


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