Buell Foundation Executive Director Susan Steele notified the university last month, according to Western Vice President of Finance and Administration Julie Baca, who forecast that design could be launched as soon as late April.
The library originally opened in 1939. None other than Denver-based architect Temple Hoyne Buell –after whom the Buell Foundation is named–designed it in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. In 1951, the library was dedicated in honor of trustee member Leslie Savage to recognize his work at Western.
In 1964, a contemporary-style, three-story addition was completed on the northeast end of the existing Savage Library to increase the capacity of library services for a growing student enrollment. The buildings join at the ground level of the original library by way of an 8-foot corridor, providing the illusion that the two structures are separate buildings.
In 1993, the Colorado Historical Society listed the building on the Colorado State Register of Historical Properties.
The West Wing of the library is beloved by current students and is well used. It is often referred to as the Harry Potter Room and is one of the main attractions when parents and students tour Western. The library has long served as the ceremonial backdrop for many prestigious occasions–everything from presidential portraits to wedding photography.
Western’s Historic Savage Library Renewal and Enhancement project includes landscaping improvements; marble, stucco and concrete repair; restoration of the historic entryway; and stabilization of the bell tower.
“The library team is so excited and grateful for the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation,” said Western Director of Library Services Dustin Fife. “Preserving the historic library preserves the heritage and sacrifice of every student, faculty and staff member who has contributed to Western. This space, in particular, is beloved by current and past students. Prospective students and visitors are always amazed by our historic library and drawn to its incredible atmosphere. By preserving this historical building, we are securing the architectural heart of campus.”