Old Nichols Library

The Old Nichols Library was granted landmark status and saved from demolition in the fall of 2017. In the summer of 2022, it will be opening as GIA MIA.


Old Nichols Library was built in 1897 with a $10,000 bequest from one of Naperville’s founding businessmen - James L. Nichols. The Richardsonian Romanesque building was designed by architect Mifflin Emlin Bell.

Throughout the decades Old Nichols served as the unofficial heart of our hometown with the legendary librarians Hannah Ditzler and Miss Matie Egermann.

The Old Nichols Library is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing resource to the Naperville Historic District, and it is also a designated local landmark. A scale model of the original interior is on display at the new Nichols Library.

The Journey

In 2017 Old Nichols Library was sold to developers and plans were made to demolish the building. A grassroots group, Save Old Nichols Library, grew up to fight to save the library. It took a year and a half of hard work, but thanks to the help of Landmarks Illinois, the library was saved.

The Result

Adaptive reuse has given Old Nichols a new life. It is embraced by a new mixed-use building and it will once again shine as the heart of our downtown and contribute to the economic vitality of Naperville.

The organization "Save Old Nichols Library" grew into Naperville Preservation Inc, working for historic preservation throughout Naperville.