THOREAU INSTITUTE AT WALDEN WOODS – Archives Facility for Thoreau Institute

Lincoln, MA


6,000 sf


Ganteaume & McMullen, Inc.

Dimeo’s Construction Management team worked closely with the project’s founder, and musician Don Henley throughout planning and construction. Built less than half a mile from historically and ecologically significant Walden Pond, the Institute features the world’s foremost collection of Thoreau and Thoreau-related materials, including state-of-the-art archives and media center, reading room, and a variety of educational programs and reading resources. The Institute was designed to sit unobtrusively on its beautifully landscaped site by incorporating elements of red brick, wood windows, and copper roofing on the exterior.


Green building practices were incorporated through sensitive siting of the structure, use of the birch trees that were removed for millwork, and a thermal energy system to cool the facility. Interiors are warmed by a generous use of rich wood casework, slate flooring, antique carpets, a special low UV lighting system for document protection, and sophisticated mechanical systems including a steam humidifier to maintain a constant humidity level.