Webster University Emerson Library architecture

The decision to build a library on Webster's campus was made in the 1990s. The administration desired a central location not only for the library's collections but also as a common meeting place for intellectual life on campus. With its Cyber Café, Library Conference room, group study rooms, Listening/viewing area, eCommons, and Faculty Development Center, this goal has been successfully achieved.

Facts and dates

  • Architects: Perry Dean Rogers | Partners Architects, Boston, MA
  • Interior Design: Spellman Brady & Company, St. Louis, MO
  • Plaza Design: CYLA Design Associates, Oak Park, IL
  • Contractor: Paric Corporation in association with Kwame Building Group, Inc., St. Louis, MO
  • Emerson Library is named for the Emerson Electric Co.


  • Groundbreaking: October 30, 2001
  • Book Chain: June 30, 2003
  • Open: July 1, 2003
  • Dedication: September 22, 2003

Construction required:

  • 490 tons of steel
  • 13 million lbs of concrete
  • 95,000 bricks
  • 9,000 sq. ft. of glass
  • 32 miles of wiring
  • 750 data connections
  • 35,000 linear ft. of shelving

Total project cost including construction, equipment, furniture and plaza: $21 million
Funded, in part, through the New Traditions Campaign.


  • Square feet: 71, 500
  • Floors: 5
  • Seating: over 700
  • Size of collection: over 285,000 books, periodicals, videos, and other media

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