Library DrawingThe CONNector

JULY 2002Volume 4 Number 3

Connecticut Public Libraries - New, Expanded, or Renovated

Cornwall Free Library

Mary Louise Jensen, Building Consultant

Photo of the outside of Cornwall Free Library.
Cornwall Free Library on dedication day

On June 15th, the new Cornwall Free Library was dedicated. Cornwall is a rural residential community located in the beautiful hills of Litchfield County. Incorporated in 1740, the town has 1,434 residents and covers 22 square miles.

The new l,000 square foot one-story library located next to the Town Hall was designed by the Kenneth MacLean from Amsler Woodhouse MacLean Architects from Boston, MA. The library is architecturally compatible with the surrounding residential community. Upon entering the building one feels that the building is much larger than it is due to the high ceiling with exposed rafters and the light color of the walls and ceiling. The post and beam construction reminds one of a barn.

Photo of adult area.
Adult area

Further definition within each area is created by variations in the height of the ceiling, columns and rafters, and use of carpet or tinted cement. The adult area and the meeting room have a high ceiling, while the children's area, circulation desk, bookstacks, computer area, and staff room have a lower ceiling. From the entrance the children's room and two handicapped bathrooms are to the left, the meeting room is straight ahead, and circulation and adult area are to the right. The meeting room with glassed doors can be used for additional seating space during the hours the library is open because it can be easily supervised from the circulation desk, which is adjacent.

Some interesting features of the building are:

Photo of the children's area.
Children's area

The project funding for this came from fundraising, town contributions, and a $462,000 State Public Library Construction Grant.

Ken Keskinen, a resident of Cornwall, wrote and read a "Singhofer" in honor of the library at the dedication. The following was the last paragraph: "Now here books wait, on shelves, in niches- an elegance of reading riches! They're ours! They're there for you and me! What's more, oh friends, for all they're free! Sing Ho for those who long ago began with "well-selected " books, and so we now have made their vision glow! Sing HO! Sing HO! Sing HO! Sing HO!"

For more information about the new library check out Cornwall Free Library's webpage.


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