Deep into the Beinecke’s Basement: A Slideshow Tour

  • This row of water pumps will be replaced.
  • This massive green machine is a chiller, which is crucial to maintaining a proper climate in the library.
  • A close up view of a chiller, which was installed in 1963.
  • Thousands of feet of piping and ductwork will be replaced.
  • You won't find any digital displays on these 50-year-old instrument panels.
  • The same control panel in this photograph taken prior to the library's opening in 1963.
  • Another view of the instrument panel. The rectangular cases house bronze instruments.
  • This is one of several room-sized air movers that will be replaced.
  • A close-up view of an air mover.
January 30, 2014

Much of the renovation involves replacing and upgrading mechanical equipment in the Beinecke’s sub-basement, which is located three-floors below ground. Nearly all of the heating and air-conditioning systems are original to the building, meaning they are more than 50 years old. This stuff was built to last, but it is starting to show its age and replacement parts are becoming increasing difficult to find. Strolling through the sub-basement feels like walking below decks in an old battleship. These massive mechanical units will be cut to pieces and pulled from the building along with thousands of feet of piping. As you can tell from the photos, it is a big job. 

(Photo credit: David Driscoll, Beinecke Digital Studio)