SOMERVILLE – Please join Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, Ward 6 City Councilor Lance Davis, and the Somerville Library Trustees for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the newly renovated and restored West Branch Library on Friday, November 5, at 11 a.m.
After a short speaking program, guests will be invited to tour the library and mingle in the landscaped backyard. Face coverings are required indoors.
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 onsite.
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.
For more information about services and programming at the West Branch, visit somervillepubliclibrary.org.