This press release in American Libraries reports that “American Library Association (ALA) President Wanda Kay Brown and Executive Director Mary Ghikas announced on December 6 that ALA has sold its headquarters buildings at 50 E. Huron and 40 E. Huron Street in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.
“We are thrilled that after many years of study, research, and discussion, the transfer of valuable real estate to ALA’s endowment fund is at last complete,” Brown said. “Of course, it is bittersweet to be leaving our home of so many decades. But ALA is focused on the future and is optimistic about all that it holds.”
In spring 2020, ALA will move its Chicago-based office functions to Michigan Plaza at 225 N. Michigan Avenue. ALA staff will continue to occupy the buildings on Huron until the new office buildout, designed by architecture firm Nelson, is complete. The move will provide ALA with a modernized workspace, including enhanced meeting space.
“50 East Huron is a landmark in the library world,” said Ghikas. “We’ve heard from our members that visiting is a kind of pilgrimage. However, the spirit of ALA does not reside at any fixed address. We look forward to carrying on our work on behalf of librarians, library workers, and libraries in our new home on Michigan Avenue.”
Dedicated in 1963, the building at 50 E. Huron served ALA for nearly two decades before the Association built an extension in the parking lot it owned next door. In 1981, the building at 40 E. Huron opened for business. The two connected buildings have housed the Association’s staff ever since…”
Tom is originally from Brooklyn N.Y but has spent his entire professional career in South Carolina, most recently as Head of Reference Services at the College of Charleston. As part of the Against the Grain and Charleston Conference team, he serves as the associate editor of the print ATG as well as the co-editor of the webpage. Tom’s conference duties include coordinating the Penthouse Suite interviews as well as the conference poster sessions.
He received his MLS from the University of Buffalo, SUNY and a second master’s in public administration from the College of Charleston and the Univ. of South Carolina. His wife Carol and he live in downtown Charleston and she is an artist and a tour guide offering historic walking tours of the city.