Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Modernization

Originally designed by the legendary architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library will undergo a $160 million modernization and expansion.

World class library revitalization for the 21st century

Gilbane, in a joint venture with Smoot Construction, was selected as the construction manager at-risk for the landmark modernization of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. The new design concept, developed by signature design team Martinez + Johnson and Mecanoo, consists of a fifth floor addition to the existing building that will feature a two-floor performance and exhibition space spanning the fourth and fifth floors. The lower level will contain new creative spaces for fabrication, music and art. An extensive green roof space above the fifth floor will enhance the sustainability of the building, as well as open up space for the community to enjoy greenery away from the urban site of downtown DC.

In addition to the new spaces, restoration of the historic façade and replacement of the exterior glazing system will rejuvenate the beauty of Mies’ original design. The interior transformation will include integration of two new monumental stairs, total gut and reprogrammed build-out of the entire building, inclusive of new building cores, and construction of a new indoor and outdoor cafe. The new, modernized Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library will reopen in 2020.

Cleveland Heights-University Heights High School Renovation

Incorporating reused historical features while breathing new life into the building, Heights High School is transformed into a freshly updated home with a familiar feel.

Creating a Modern High School Environment While Honoring History

The transformation of Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District’s Heights High School, built in 1926, included renovations and an expansion over multiple phases to address the changing needs of students in today’s learning environment.

Scope of services included:

  • 130,000 SF renovations and 230,000 SF addition
  • Auditorium and stadium renovation, eight-lane natatorium, two gyms and three elevators
  • Enabling projects including renovations of Roxboro and Monticello Middle Schools

Numerous sustainable efforts were implemented to ensure the historic features of the school were honored in a way that complemented the design, while still ensuring the continued safety of the students and staff. The façade was constructed of brick and metal panels with brick details to approximate the adjacent 1926 stone. Historically-accurate, double-hung wood windows adjacent to the existing building were installed and modern aluminum windows were put in the metal panel facade. The team was able to salvage old stone entrances and reused the existing stone to create a 25-foot security intake portal. They also reused existing sandstone entry steps and matched new stone rails at the historic courtyard entrance.

A critical component of the historic renovation was the clock tower, the peak of the building and focal point of the exterior. The team matched the existing profiles and used milled PVC product in order to restore the clock tower to its original beauty. With nearly half of the materials from the project reused in the renovation, students and faculty can walk the halls of Heights High School and know the building they are in still holds true to its 1926 roots.

See the completed project profiled in Properties magazine here.

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University of Nevada, Lincoln Hall Renovation

Gilbane brings historical building into the 21st century.

Historical Renovation requires exceptional attention

Gilbane provided Construction Management at Risk services for the renovation of the historic Lincoln Hall at the University of Nevada, originally built in 1896 and the second oldest and historically significant building on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. As part of the University facilities master plan, the 28,298 SF Hall was converted from a residence hall into an administrative facility.

Due to the historical nature of Lincoln Hall, all renovation was done in cooperation with the State Historical Preservation Office. In order to provide a safe working space for the contractors while not compromising the existing historical windows that were to be preserved, barricades were installed at every window providing safety protection while preserving the existing finishes. As one of the oldest buildings on campus, structural upgrades on Lincoln Hall brought the facility into compliance with mechanical, plumbing, fire, and seismic safety standards. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the building is handicap accessible.

The Residences at Rodney Square in the Delaware Trust Building

The project team is believed to have used the highest free-standing crane in the United States, according to the tower crane company, Maxim. The crane stands 24 stories tall at approximately 400 feet.

Listed on the National Register of Historical Places

The renovation of the Delaware Trust Building complex was to create the renamed Residences at Rodney Square. The complex project consisted of the original south building, the two east and west wings and the black glass Hercules Tower. In order to allow more natural light into each apartment unit and to recreate the courtyard between the wings, the Hercules Tower was demolished to ground level. The building demolition required critical planning and consistent communication to avoid disturbing the surroundings of the historic district. After demolition took place, the Gilbane team worked to refurbish the remaining historical buildings and revitalize them to become a luxury apartment complex.

The renovated building includes residential units, parking spaces on three levels, retail, restaurants and an interior courtyard situated on the top level of the garage. The residential component includes a fitness center, Great Room and swimming pool. The residential units consist of studio apartments and two bedroom (with den) apartments. A luxury complex, residents enjoy a 24-hour concierge, located in downtown Wilmington within the historic downtown Rodney Square.


  • 2003 Safe Site Award for the Delaware Trust Building renovations
  • 2004 Best Commercial Project Award, GBCA
  • 2004 Construction Excellence Award, State of Delaware & Delaware Contractors Assoc.
  • 2005 Thomas & William Gilbane Award

Enoch Pratt Free Library Renovation & Modernization

With the help of cutting-edge technology Gilbane will minimize disruption to the library’s daily operations during this comprehensive modernization.

Preserving the Past while building the future

In 2015, Enoch Pratt Free Library had 1.7 million visitors, which makes the library one of Baltimore’s top attractions. Its free programs alone attracted 127,000 participants throughout the year! Originally built in 1933, Pratt will undergo a comprehensive modernization program. Meanwhile, the library will remain fully operational in order to continue hosting their popular programs. The library’s learning environment will be expanded with the new teen and young adult wing and a designated career center. New MEP systems, life safety, and code upgrades will restore the building’s infrastructure. Facade restoration and roof replacement, as well as exterior window and fixture restorations, will ensure the library continues to stand the test of time. Refurbished plaster, restored art work, and improved interior finishes will further enhance the beauty of the historic structure that occupies a city block on Cathedral Street in downtown Baltimore. Lee Woodward Ziegler, a Baltimore native, painted the extensive murals depicting Faerie Queen throughout the library, which were dedicated in 1945. The restoration of these pieces, along with extensive upgrades designed by Ayers Saint Gross and Beyer Blinder Belle, will bring one of the most historic library systems in the United States into the 21st century.

Increasing Opportunities for the local community

This library will not only increase learning opportunities for local residents but also employment opportunities for local MBE firms. With an overall MBE subcontractor participation goal of 32%, Gilbane plans to engage MBE firms in a wide variety of trades. Local workforce participation enables the community to be an essential part of the new Enoch Pratt Free Library, which will serve as an indispensable resource to not only the Baltimore community but also the state.