Woods Hole Public Library

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Location: 581 Woods Hole Road
Applicant: Woods Hole Public Library
Grant: $48,500, $28,500, and $19,550
Year/Article: November 2008 A29; November 2011, A38; April 2017, A37

Chartered in October 1911, the Woods Hole Public Library completed and opened its present stone library building in 1913. It is a central community institution in Woods Hole, providing not only full library services, including a delivery service for homebound people, but also educational and cultural programs, arts and crafts workshops, children’s events, and concerts. It offers meeting rooms for public use and a community bulletin board and is supported by members and volunteers.

Windows installed in 1991 to match the fourteen large original windows surrounding the main reading room on three sides had proven to be inferior in materials and waterproofing, resulting in leaks and rotting sills. Desiring to preserve the historic character and appearance of the library, the Library applied to the CPFund in 2008 for the $48,500 cost of replacing the windows with more durable and energy efficient windows that matched the originals. Town Meeting appropriated the requested amount and the windows were replaced in 2009. With financial support from the community and foundations, the Library has completed other needed construction projects, including the installation of a new HVAC system and the renovation of the ground floor and its meeting rooms.

In 2011 the Library returned to the CPFund with a request of $28,500 in support of the total cost of $38,500 to replace the historic slate roof. Donations, foundation grants and volunteers provided additional resources. The Library retained a master builder to replicate exactly the intricate construction of the slate roof, using graduated courses, with its copper gutters and lead coated counter flashings. New Vermont slates were selected to match as nearly as possible the original pieces in 70 percent royal purple and 30 percent SW green. The slates were hand-nailed with #11 gauge 1 ½” and 2” copper nails, with heavier slates at the bottom eave. The new roof was topped with new ridge caps, each pair with new copper step flashing (saddles). The project was completed in 2012.

In 2017 Town Meeting awarded the Woods Hole Public Library a third grant, for $19,550, to contribute to the $35,000 cost of restoring and repointing the historic stonework walls of the structure. This work, scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2017, was the final stage of a complete the renovation and preservation of the historic 103-year-old building.

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