Carnegie Public Library is undergoing necessary building repairs and maintenance, according to library officials. Completed in 1904, the community’s Carnegie building has stood the test of time.
The library has seen four building additions and much refurbishing over the past century, including a genealogy/reference wing (1978), an elevator and new restrooms (1990), and a new back entrance and parking lot (1998).
The front entrance was restored to its original grandeur in 2000, and the library’s interior was renovated in 2008. Each renovation has enabled library staff to improve services and accessibility, paving the way for advances in technology, while maintaining the beautiful building’s historic integrity.
The community’s Carnegie library building is one of 111 that Carnegie helped fund in Ohio alone between the years 1881-1919. Communities wrote to Mr. Carnegie’s philanthropic foundation, pledging local funds to help build and support a community library.
Meeting certain criteria, Mr. Carnegie would bestow one-time funds upon the community for this purpose. Interestingly, the local building cost a total of $25,000 to build.
Today, the local Carnegie building is one of just 60 of the original 111 Carnegie buildings built in Ohio that remains in use as a public library. This is possible through thoughtful planning, fiscal responsibility and a commitment to history.
More than 15 years have passed since the library’s limestone stairs and block building were cleaned, sealed and repaired. The recession in 2009 put a hold on library projects while subsequent reductions to the Public Library Fund (PLF) continued to negatively impact the library’s budget. Time marches on, however, and repairs to the 1904 building’s exterior can be delayed no longer.
The General Restoration Corporation of Columbus will soon begin the repair project by cleaning the building’s block and stairs. First, removing the mold and mildew will provide a clean surface to repair and patch areas of deterioration.
Once repaired, a sealant will be applied. The sealant will protect the building and will hinder mold and mildew from returning.
An integral part of this project’s focus are the front stairs and side walls. The stairs, replaced in 2000, and sidewalls, original to the 1904 building, take the brunt of the wear, tear and settling of the building.
Funds for this project came from a generous grant awarded to the library by Fayette Travel & Tourism as well as the library’s general fund.
Carnegie Public Library is grateful to Fayette County Travel & Tourism Bureau for their assistance in completing this important project.