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Pennsylvania's Capitol Building | Renovation and Restoration

Renovation and Restoration
Rare Books Vault

Harrisburg, PA


Commonwealth of PA
Harrisburg, PA

Design Professional

Department of General Services Bureau of Engineering & Architecture
Harrisburg, PA



Renovation and restoration of an area of the Forum Building in the Capitol Building of Pennsylvania to create a museum-quality space. This space was to house the extensive Rare Collections Library for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Rare Collections Library includes the oldest, rarest, most fragile materials in the State Library of Pennsylvania.

Winner of the 2007 Mid Atlantic BX Craftsmanship Award.

Winner of the 2007 Mid Atlantic BX Craftsmanship Award.


  • Create a state-of-the-art vault that would preserve the Collection for at least 200 years. Temperature, humidity, and air quality needed to be consistently sustained.
  • Maintain negative air pressure in the work area 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, until the project was completed.
  • Complete the project on time and on budget.
  • Create the historical “look” inside by bringing in authentic Pennsylvania black cherry wood for the finish work.


  • Designed systems to ensure air quality by filtering air three times before it was introduced inside.
  • Created a negative air pressure environment in which to work.
  • Worked diligently with craftsmen and client to adhere to time tables and oversee budget.
  • Team representatives traveled into Pennsylvania woods to identify, select and oversee harvesting of black cherry trees. They set a chain of custody in place through the shipping, drying and milling processes.


L.R. Costanzo experts also:

  • Installed new floors, walls, doors, ceilings, drywall, plaster and painting.
  • Where needed, existing components were disassembled, photographed and catalogued for correct reassembly.