Visitors to the Bexley Public Library, 2411 E. Main St., in recent weeks may have noticed that the front entrance has a makeshift door.
The bronze door that has been a recognizable symbol for the library for the past 85 years is undergoing a restoration.
The restoration is not just cosmetic, but is necessary for the door to continue to function and accommodate the library's estimated 250,000 annual visits, library Director Rachel Rubin said.
"Pieces of the door were bowing and corroding, so it was no longer opening and closing properly," Rubin said. "The library also will be celebrating its 90th birthday in October, so this year was an ideal time to restore and highlight one of our most recognizable features."
The cost of the restoration is projected at $27,050, coming from the library's Building and Repair Fund, Rubin said.
Columbus-based Centennial Preservation Group is conducting the multiphase project. Bexley resident Matt Wolf founded the company in 2009.
"Four generations of my wife's family, down to our son, have called Bexley home and all of them have no doubt walked through that door hundreds of times," Wolf said.
Centennial will refurbish the door so it opens outward toward the opposite side, and will no longer swing into the path of the library's wheelchair-accessible ramp. A door opener to accommodate patrons with disabilities will be installed.
After restoring and polishing the door, Centennial will apply a lacquer, followed by a wax coating to maintain the finish and preserve the door's appearance, said Troy Holman, who is overseeing the project.
"In taking apart the door, I see evidence it was made and installed shiny, and for many years, was cleaned, which eventually resulted in a very polished look," Holman said. "Over the years, the maintenance practices changed, and I think people probably forgot it was shiny at one time. We're excited to help it look new again."
The door is expected to be reinstalled prior to the library's 90th birthday celebrations this fall.
"The beauty and uniqueness of our front door is part of the library's identity," Rubin said. "These improvements will allow it to look and function as intended for years to come."