Boston Public Library, Johnson Building

CHA provided Owner’s Project Management (OPM) and cost estimating services for the two phase renovation of this landmark in downtown Boston. The $78 million project consisted of 156,000 SF in renovations in two phases to the 1972 Phillip Johnson Addition to the Central Branch of the Boston Public Library. Phase 1 was completed in early 2015 and provided improved amenities for the reference, general collection, children, and teen areas.

Phase 2 was completed in the summer of 2016 and focused on the removal of the granite plinths that previously blocked the ground-floor windows. The three bays facing Boylston Street open to create the new two-story Boylston Hall, which includes additional entry points and retail space in the northwest corner. The Boston Public Library serves more than four million visitors per year and is a treasured venue in the City of Boston.

Project summary


Significant $78 million renovation project.


Two-phase renovation of landmark building.


The library serves four million visitors per year.

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Jeff Birenbaum

Jeff Birenbaum
Vice President, Commercial Services and Cost Estimating Business Practice Leader

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Jeff has more than 25 years of experience in real estate, development, and construction project management. He is keen on strategically managing budgets and cost controls and is accomplished in cost dispute resolutions and negotiations. Jeff fosters collaboration and accurate cost predictions to drive project success.