We are so excited to share this video of our newly renovated West Branch, courtesy of Somerville-based Clyde Media Productions!
In 2018, the West Branch location on College Ave closed for a full renovation of the space. Books and other materials were sent to storage, and a small, temporary library was set up for us in the Tufts Administration Building. This past spring, SPL librarians reshelved all the books and prepared the building for its reopening on July 13th.
The following information about the West Branch building is courtesy of the City website statement on the reopening and invitation to the West ribbon cutting.
"Built in 1909, the West Branch Library is a historic landmark, an architectural exemplar, and a local civic and cultural institution that has served the Somerville community for more than a century. Constructed with funds provided by Andrew Carnegie, the library is one of approximately 2,500 Carnegie libraries worldwide and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; however, the building was in dire need of repairs, accessibility improvements, and updated facilities to make it a responsive and inviting space for all.
Partially funded using Community Preservation Act funds, the restored and expanded West Branch is a fully accessible building that preserves the library’s historic character while offering new amenities to enhance library programs and services. A new addition built on the north and east side of the original building provides a universally accessible entrance, an elevator, restrooms, and seating with floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open directly to a beautifully landscaped multi-purpose area. All-new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems were also installed, and exterior landscaping was updated to maximize green and open space on site.
The renovated portion of the building now features a multi-purpose community room and conference space on the lower level, plus new browsing and circulation areas on the first floor. The children’s area, formerly in the basement, now occupies the upper level, with kid-sized reading nooks, activity areas, and a restored skylight overhead. The entire exterior of the original building was restored, as were the front entry and staircase, all windows, and architectural details including stone masonry and ornamental woodwork."
Please stop by and visit us soon. We're so happy to be back at West!
Watch below for the video from our reopening ribbon cutting and marks from Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Somerville Public Library Director Cathy Piantigini, and others.