The Chicago chapter of CoreNet Global, an association for real estate professionals, named the West Loop Public Library Branch as a Project of the Year. The annual REAL Awards program honors projects that demonstrate innovation in design and real estate development. The library branch was selected as the winner among 15 finalists in the category for projects under 60,000 square feet.
The project is the first public library branch for Chicago's West Loop neighborhood. SOM designed the retrofit of two existing buildings on the former site of Harpo Television Studios, paying homage to the neighborhood's industrial past while minimizing construction waste. Since opening in February 2019, the library has doubled its programs due to exceptional demand.