Bridwell Library Reading Room Table Lamp
Design for Bridwell Library Reading Room Table Lamp
Pencil on tracing paper
Architect Wayne Cage, AIA, senior vice president of Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, was responsible for the 1989 renovation of Bridwell Library. The project organized and modernized the facility as a research institution that offers one of the finest theological collections in the nation, as well as special collections that include monuments of early print, artists’ books, historic Bibles, fine press books, Methodistica, archeology, twentieth century literature, and original works vital to the development of Western Christian thought and practice. Driving the renovation was the need to provide comfort and accessibility to researchers engaged in long hours of study while ensuring safety and preservation of the collections for future researchers. Cage and his team designed three grand reading rooms on the first floor, with another on the second floor for the supervised use of special collections. Tables were designed with footrests and electrical outlets (anticipating widespread use of laptops), each with a fixed reading lamp as conceived in this pencil drawing. Other furnishings laid out by Cage and HOK designers include indirect light wall sconces and a circulation desk (both replaced in 2020), mahogany dictionary stands, built-in cabinetry, counters, and shelving, moveable signboards, and display cases for The Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries. The accoutrements are elegant counterpoints to the American Neo-Georgian proportions and detailing introduced in 1951 by the original architect of the building, Mark Lemmon.