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Those who visit Haverhill Library comment on its historic charm. They are intrigued with its history and feel welcomed by our friendly librarian. The 180-year-old Federal Style building is in need of repair, and more than 100 years of use have taken a toll. In the spring of 2020, we undertook a historic building conditions assessment, financed in part by a grant from the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance. The resulting architectural report includes recommendations for a 3-phase rehabilitation project to restore our beloved gathering place with a focus on historic preservation.
Building Renovation Project
In 2020 we committed to a phased renovation to preserve, restore, and expand our 1840 Federal Style building in the heart of historic Haverhill Corner.
Those who visit Haverhill Library comment on its historic charm. They are intrigued with its history and feel welcomed by our friendly librarian. The 180-year-old building feels rock-solid and appears well preserved, yet closer observation reveals some sagging floors and bookcases pulling away from walls. The weight of books over the last 105 years has taken its toll on framing and foundations.
Outside, the Federal-style brick building with slate roof still appears sound, yet the roof, not yet leaking, requires repair, and brick walls need repointing and cleaning. Locals miss the building’s shutters, removed three years ago due to disrepair.
For years, the library has struggled with space concerns and accessibility. Space for research, study, and meetings is very limited. The single “water closet” is not handicapped accessible or family-friendly and the septic tank must be replaced. Private space for public access computers is unsatisfactory.
In the spring of 2020, the library undertook a historic building conditions assessment, financed in part by a grant from the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance. The resulting architectural report includes recommendations for rehabilitating the building in several phases, all consistent with its historic preservation.
In October of 2020, the library was awarded a rehabilitation grant from the NH Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) to address what we consider to be the highest priority structural issues for our library. This “Phase I” project, now complete, only addressed the first-floor framing and foundation issues to stabilize the building.
The Library will be addressing the building’s external issues (roof, external walls, etc) in “Phase II” beginning next year. A future “Phase III” will address repair and preservation of the main floor of the library and Phase VI will address the library’s space needs with an addition of new stairs and an elevator to the second floor and a new accessible restroom.