The Springfield City Library hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony today at the Central Library located at 220 State Street to celebrate the completion of a $4 million renovation and historic restoration project. The ceremony featured a number of speakers including Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Helen Caulton-Harris, Health and Human Services Commissioner, Stephen Cary, Chair of the Springfield Library Commission, Peter Garvey, Director of Capital Asset and Kay Simpson, President of the Springfield Museums.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “This is my administration’s continued efforts to improve the physical plan of our municipal buildings. This effort will also enhance accessibility and the welcoming experience to our Andrew Carnegie Central Library and Quadrangle Museum complex.”
Library Director Molly Fogarty expressed her enthusiasm. “The Central Library is an information and cultural resource for the entire city and is one of Springfield’s most historically significant and heavily used public buildings. The completed renovations provide increased accessibility and enhance the experience for more than 400,000 visitors every year and for generations of visitors.”
The Central Library was built in 1912 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. It is among four Springfield libraries and 17,00 around the United States that were funded in part by donations from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Under the efforts of Kronenberger & Sons Restoration Inc. and Caolo & Bieniek Associates Inc., the Central Library renovation included an extensive historic restoration, the reconstruction of the building’s infrastructure and the addition of a new ramp and plaza. Construction began in October, 2017 and upon completion, the building has been left with a new roof, cleaned terracotta roof tiles, a new cornice and replaced internal rain leaders. The front stairs were completely restored with marble and granite, a new infrastructure was put in place to support them for years to come and the front of the building received landscaping to frame the new area. On the Quadrangle side of the library, a brand new granite plaza, stairway/entrance and handicap ramp were constructed and new railings and light fixtures were installed. The new ramp has made accessibility to the library much easier, and the new benches that have been built into the entrance make for a welcome place for patrons to sit and read and connect to the free Wi-Fi outside.
The library has already seen a number of people using the new ramp and plaza and the staff is excited to plan to expand programming and uses for our new outdoor public space in the upcoming years.
Founded in 1857, the Springfield City Library provides nearly 5,000 educational and recreational programs per year. To learn more, visit www.springfieldlibrary.org.