Pickerington Times-Sun

Grant will help restore, preserve Carnegie Library

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The Carnegie Library at 15 E. Columbus St. in Olde Pickerington Village is a historic landmark which now serves as the home of the Pickerington-Violet Township Historical Society and its museum.

The he nearly 100-year-old building, opened in 1916, was starting show it's age and the Historical Society and the city of Pickerington, which owns the building, decided last year to implement a restoration project for the exterior of the building.

The total cost of the project is $38,591, however, that amount will now be offset by a $15,000 grant the Historical Society recently received from the Wendel Family Fund of the Fairfield Foundation.

"(The award) can be used for costs incurred to repair and restore the exterior of the building because that's what we applied for,"said Peggy Portier, the organization's historian.

"Repairs started last year and will be completed this year," she said.

"The restoration contractor will also return annually to inspect the exterior to make sure everything is in good shape," Portier said.

Portier said the project has included repairing the roof, rebuilding the front stairs, replacing deteriorated mortar on all sides of the building, relaying collapsed brickwork, replacing rusted steel lintels above windows, repairing cracks in the chimney, and cleaning and sealing the building's brick.

"It will preserve the building," she said.

"We were having issues with the deterioration on the inside of the building because water was coming through the brick and coming through the chimney," Portier said.

"In a museum, water is not a good thing," she said.

Portier said there have been additional repairs to the interior of the building, beyond the cost of the exterior work, including repairing and repainting walls, as well as the installation of new carpet and new blinds in the lower level.

She said the city of Pickerington, specifically Eric Vannatta, has coordinated the repair project with funding derived from the city of Pickerington, Violet Township and the Historical Society.

Portier said the additional funding from the Fairfield Foundation grant award couldn't come at a better time.

"It will help pay for the project," she said, adding "if we didn't get the money the city would have had to get the money from somewhere else.

"That's the reason why (the project) has taken so long," Portier said.

"I wish we had the money to do it all in one year, if we did we probably would have (completed) it last year."

The Carnegie Library building was constructed in 1915 with a $10,000 grant from industrialist Andrew Carnegie.

The funds were provided so that the building could serve as the Pickerington Public Library.

When the library moved to its new building on Opportunity Way in 1993, the Pickerington-Violet Township Historical Society was invited to relocate its museum from the Mason-Richter Building at 21 W. Columbus St. to the Carnegie Library building.

"The building is nearly 100 years old and hopefully will be around for another 100 years," Portier said.

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