Apr 29, 2008 Ami Olson Uncategorized
More than 7,000 square feet of Solvay Public Library may be new, but many of the shelves, cabinets and wooden details are not.
Salvaged from Hazard School before the school’s demolition, many wooden features from the school found a new home at the library. Now, the library is reaching out to the public to help restore and refinish the pieces so that they may enjoy a new incarnation at the library.
The library is promoting ‘Adopt a Solvay Heirloom,’ a donation program through which community members could adopt a piece of furniture by donating a portion of the cost needed to restore the piece.
Cara Burton, library director, said the library opted to refinish the salvaged pieces to preserve community history. Many residents were upset Hazard was demolished, said Burton, and rescuing these pieces was an opportunity to protect local history.
It ended up that it is also cheaper, Burton said. I got a quote for a new double-sided wood shelf which came to $1,000 more than what it cost to refinish and modify an antique hutch from the school.
The library came to acquire the furniture through the State Historical Preservation Office, (SHPO), which required the school district to allow a local not-for-profit organization to salvage what they could from the building before going to auction, Burton said.
The salvage saved us thousands of dollars, she added.
Six transom doors, previously stationed at the ends of hallways in Hazard School, and windows from the school were also salvaged and incorporated directly into the design of the library.
Burton said the SHPO regards the library as unique because of the use of these features, which allow substantial natural light into the building. She said the library has since been accepted to the National Register of Historical Places.
The adoption program offers community members an opportunity to support the library with a visible memorial, dedication or anniversary recognition. Each finished piece will include a small plaque designating the donation.
Anyone wishing to donate money would choose the increment that best suits them – $500, $700, $1,000, $1,500 or $2,000 — and the library would provide a list of furniture whose restoration costs match the donation. Currently the library has many maple chairs available for $75 adoption. Burton said all shelving and cabinetry was refinished and put to use, but many are still in need of sponsors to offset the costs, from $200 to $2,000.
Pieces have so far been adopted by Friends of the Solvay Public Library, a village resident, and the VFW, Burton said.
The library secures the restoration of the piece through Terpening Woodworking in Hannibal. Dacia Refinishing in East Syracuse has also refinished some smaller pieces for the library.
A photo album of some available furniture is on display now at the library, as well as information about the adoption program.
Solvay Public Library also received donations of office furniture from Geddes Savings and Loan, and Judith Lamanna Rivette, author of the Solvay Stories series, donated funds for the new circulation desk.