May 9, 2011

A fresh look for JHU Press’ historic building

Two-year renovation complete; open house scheduled for May 11

A large portrait of Daniel Coit Gilman features the famous quote in which he ties the work of the Press to the university’s educational mission, declaring that it is a ‘noble duty’ to disseminate knowledge ‘far and wide.’ The image is a 70-by-92-inch digital photograph of James Carroll Beckwith’s official portrait of the university’s first president, which resides in Gilman Hall. At left is one of the display panels, designed by Doug Behr of JHU’s Office of Marketing and Creative Services, that profile the history of the Press and tell the story of the ‘life of a book.’

The Johns Hopkins University Press recently completed an extensive two-year renovation of its historic main building, an 1897 former church in Charles Village where the Press has been located since 1993.

Artwork drawn from Press publications hangs throughout the building. Photo: Will Kirk/

The project, by Read & Company Architects of Baltimore, reconfigured offices, redesigned the front and back entrance lobbies, and created new meeting space on the building’s terrace level. The lobby and other public areas now feature artwork drawn from Press publications, along with new displays about the publishing work and history of the country’s oldest university press.

To celebrate the completion of the renovation, Press staff, authors, JHU colleagues and friends will gather for an open house from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11. Refreshments will be served, and tours will be available. A shuttle will run from Homewood’s Mason Hall to the Press during the hours of the open house.