Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Tisch Library, 1996
Tisch Library, formerly Wessell Library, opened in January 1996 after twenty-one million dollars worth of renovation and new construction.
By the early 1990s, it was clear that Arts and Sciences' library facilities were unable to meet the growing needs of the school. Wessell Library was cold and dark, and was not large enough to accommodate the growing student body. Renovations were clearly necessary to bring Wessell up to the level of libraries at competing universities.
After receiving a ten million dollar grant from alumni Jonathan and Stephen Tisch, administrators and architects began planning the improved facility. Instead of building up, administrators decided to build out. This saved the library roof, a popular hangout for students.
The renovations, which took about two years to complete, added 80,000 square feet to the facility. This allowed for enclosed quiet study areas, improved audio-visual facilities and classrooms, and brought the seating capacity up to 1250. The building was also made handicap accessible, and extra windows were added to bring more natural light to library users.
As of 2000, Tisch still serves as the library for Arts and Sciences and remains one of the busiest buildings on the Medford campus.