Baker Book House turns page to new-look space


Baker Book House, which features a café, is a landmark for the regional book industry. Courtesy Orion Construction

Baker Book House has completed the renovation and expansion of its historic store.

The independent Christian book and music outlet recently finished a 28,166-square-foot upgrade and re-design to the location it has been in for the past 30 years.

A highlight of the work was positioning the retail space more toward the street and moving the warehousing operations to the rear of the store, at 2768 East Paris Ave. SE.

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“The challenge of re-configuring the entire facility — while the business stayed open and operational — was accomplished through the cooperation of the committed staff at Baker Book House and Integrated Architecture,” said John Boonstra, a partner at Orion Construction, which managed the work.

Integrated Architecture designed the project for Baker, which was founded in 1939 by Herman Baker as a seller of used books.

“Everyone maintained a ‘can do’ attitude throughout the project,” Boonstra said.

Baker Book House now also features a café and fireside reading area, a community room, a children’s play area, an information desk and a space where authors can talk about their works, which makes the shop as much of a gathering place as a bookstore.

The bookstore has a neutral color palette to provide a backdrop for the books and merchandise, and spots of red/orange and green are used to create interior landmarks for the information desk and café.  

“Baker Book House has a rich history in our community,” said Gina Paul, Integrated Architecture project manager. “Their decision to invest in creating a fresh image, new logo and a vibrant place for the community to gather and enjoy demonstrates a commitment to their customers and staff, as well as a desire to keep the ‘book business’ alive and viable in our city.”

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