Northwestern re-opens Deering Library doors

Paulina Firozi, Campus Editor

Northwestern on Friday re-opened the Deering Library doors after closing the iconic entrance 42 years ago.

The University chose to mark Homecoming week by once again allowing students to have access to NU’s original library. Deering opened in 1933 and served as campus’s primary library until University Library opened in 1970.

A reception followed the ribbon-cutting ceremony, featuring University President Morton Schapiro, Library Board of Governors member Stephen Strachan and dean of libraries Sarah Pritchard.

Since Deering closed in 1970, the only access to it was through hidden hallways and side doors adjacent to the main entrance of University Library.

But recently, with the help of Associated Student Government, there was a push to reopen the doors.

Ani Ajith, ASG Senate speaker, was at the forefront of this initiative. He believed it would establish Deering as a central venue at NU.

“Deering Library and the meadow is almost the heart of campus,” the Weinberg junior and former Daily columnist said earlier this month. “You see Deering Library in all photos. It’s the place we gather in moments of tragedy and also moments of fun and happiness.”

The Chauncey and Marion Deering McCormick Foundation and Charles Deering McCormick gave the original donations for the renovation and eventual re-opening of the library, according to its website.

Deering’s exterior underwent major renovations this summer in anticipation of its opening, including the development of a “plaza” in front of the doors as a location for speakers and public events, as well as the installation of a ramp to improve accessibility to the library. Interior renovations included new security gates and a check desk, similar to that of the main library.

Pritchard told The Daily that the newly opened doors will be operational from 8:30 a.m. to about 10 p.m. for most of the week.

The University hopes to address damages to the nearly 80-year old building by making changes to lighting and surrounding stained-glass windows, and improving security to conserve the classic architecture of the building, according to the library website. Deering’s hallways and elevators will also be restructured to allow increased access between the two libraries.

— Paulina Firozi