John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum

, National Archives and Records Administration

Boston, MA

Exterior
Lobby
Exhibit space
Storage
Archival facilities

At the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum, visitors experience first-hand the life and legacy of John and Jacqueline Kennedy. From important presidential memorabilia to a moon rock from the Apollo 15 mission, the museum is a rich resource for Massachusetts and a leader in providing civic education for students of all ages.

Designed by I.M. Pei and dedicated in 1979, the library was ready for a 21st-century upgrade. With an ever-expanding collection and over 200,000 visitors per year, the library had outgrown its space, and new technological advances in archival climate control were readily available to help protect the museum’s treasures. EYP brought sensitive design and technology upgrades to the museum.

The team designed a respectful new addition to the JFK Library that deftly cants at a 45-degree angle to the original structure, leaving the massing and geometries of Pei’s building to stand on their own, largely undisturbed. Overlooking Dorchester Bay, the new wing includes 15,000 square feet of archival storage, a staging area for exhibits and curatorial work, a new temporary exhibit gallery, and additional administrative, conference room, and classroom spaces.

Properly conserving American history requires sophisticated engineering measures. Our engineering team provided a full range of structural, mechanical, and electrical work to modernize the library and museum, providing effective climate control, promoting perseveration, and enhancing visitor experience and comfort.

The result? A library that can now do justice to one of the most iconic American Presidents – providing comfort and space to staff and visitors and responsible care to its collection.

Building Facts

  • 30,000 GSF of new construction
  • 200,000 annual visitors
  • 20,000 artifacts moved from offsite to the new facility
archival room

Archival Standards

The control of temperature and humidity is vital to preserving artwork, books and mixed media, and other archival materials. Cooler temperatures and low relative humidity levels have been shown to significantly extend the life of printed materials. NARA has stringent requirements for humidity, temperature, gas infiltration control, and fire protection for all collections entrusted to the agency's management.

The control of temperature and humidity is vital to preserving artwork, books and mixed media, and other archival materials. Cooler temperatures and low relative humidity levels have been shown to significantly extend the life of printed materials. NARA has stringent requirements for humidity, temperature, gas infiltration control, and fire protection for all collections entrusted to the agency's management.

Archival storage often also utilizes compact shelving systems to house more linear feet of materials than traditional book stacks. Institutions challenged by severe shortage of space at their primary sites, such as the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian, maintain climate-controlled archival storage facilities off site.

I am proud to open this addition that provides essential storage space for the historical treasures housed in this Library and will allow it to fulfill its mission as the dynamic center of education that my parents envisioned.

Caroline Kennedy