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One of the most distinctive buildings on the Cornell campus, the Carl A. Kroch Library is a unique architectural achievement. Designed by Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson and Abbott and located completely underground, the Kroch Library opened in 1992 to provide a new home for the university's renowned Asia Collections and Rare and Manuscript Collections.
Widely regarded by students, faculty, staff and alumni as one of Cornell's most beautiful facilities, the Kroch Library epitomizes the university's commitments to preserve open space on campus and to provide facilities that both serve and enhance research and teaching programs. Outside on the Arts Quad, most passersby take scant notice of the four low skylights in the landscaped courtyard between Stimson and Godwin Smith Halls- the only structural evidence of a building below. Mirrors in the skylights reflect and diffuse outdoor light throughout the three-story atrium that is the centerpiece of the building. Even on cloudy days the space fifty feet below is remarkably bright and airy. Behind the scenes, state-of-the-art environmental control and security systems are in place throughout the library to protect and preserve the collections.
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