Thursday, February 08, 2007

El Reno Library lands grant to help in repairs

This library story was sent to me by Kate!
El Reno Tribune| Library lands grant to help in repairs

El Reno Carnegie Library was awarded a $4,580 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to help fund needed structure repairs.

Last year, the library celebrated its 100th year.

The seed grant will be used to cover the engineering fees. The grant is to be matched with local funds, said librarian Debbie Elmenhorst.

“We are very pleased to receive support from the National Trust. That support in combination with support from city government and citizens will enable this building to survive another hundred years,” she said.

Over time, a shift in the building has pulled the wall away from the roof, a situation discovered when an interior ceiling bracket fell last year. The library has hired an architect to assess the structural damage and draw up specifications to repair the historic building. Officials have not estimated costs for repairs.

But the city’s public works director has said correcting the problem will also give workers a chance to see what else is needed to strengthen the walls, repair or replace old wood and bulk up brick. A new roof was put in place eight years ago.

The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1905 with $12,500 from the early 20th century philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, the building is one of several Carnegie buildings in Oklahoma, but the [oldest] one still being used as a library. Most of the buildings were designed with a classical revival design with large columns and a huge pediment over the main entrance. Original features include embossed metal ceilings, marble lobby and stairs. The second floor, originally an auditorium with a full stage, was turned into a children’s library.

The grant was made possible through the endowed Ruth and Allen Mayo Fund for Historic Preservation in Oklahoma. Its purpose is to assist in the preservation, restoration and interpretation of historic interiors.

Grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 are awarded to nonprofit groups and public agencies and must be matched dollar for dollar. The National Trust for Historic Preservation, chartered by Congress in 1949, leads the national preservation movement to save and preserve America’s treasures.

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