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Historic Preservation Office honors library's outstanding preservation efforts
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Monday, October 14, 2013 11:08 PM

COLUMBUS – Outstanding historic preservation achievements in communities throughout Ohio were honored with the 2013 Ohio Historic Preservation Office Awards on Saturday, Sept. 28.

Ohio Historical Society executive director and state historic preservation officer Burt Logan honored recipients with awards in two categories – Public Education and Awareness and Preservation Merit – during a luncheon at the German Village Meeting Haus in Columbus.

This year’s honors went to 16 recipients from 14 communities, including a Preservation Merit Award to Paulding County Carnegie Library and All Trades Historical Restoration LLC for preservation and rehabilitation of the Paulding County Library at 205 S. Main St. in Paulding.

The Paulding County Carnegie Library was the first “county” library in the U.S. to be funded by Andrew Carnegie. The library was built between 1914 and 1916 using French gray pressed brick with matching Bedford, Ind. stone decoration.

It was designed by Howard and Merriam of Columbus, who also designed the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library. The restrained neoclassical style is a good example of the Carnegie design guidelines that focused on function over ostentation.

In spite of regular maintenance over the lifetime of the Library, including repair to the exterior masonry, when All Trades Historic Restoration was contracted for the most recent round of tuck pointing and waterproofing they discovered that a serious breach in the integrity of the building had developed.

Substantial settling of the large keystones over major windows resulted in the brickwork above to pull out of line with the wall. On the south side of the library, a crack developed from this shifting that followed a line up to the roof.

All Trades further found that these breaches allowed moisture to enter the building behind the walls, causing damage to the interior walls.

In response to this discovery, All Trades conducted a comprehensive assessment of the façade and developed a thorough program of restoration and repair for the exterior of the historic library.

The keystones were removed, reset and secured, the effected bricks were reset in their original locations, old mortar was replaced, and all exterior windows were repaired.

This project exemplifies the goals of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation – not only by the way these specific repairs retain and preserve the original features of the library, but also through the philosophy of guardianship that led to the discovery and resolution of these issues.

This well-managed and executed project allows the Paulding County Carnegie Library to begin its centennial celebrations, confident that it can serve the community for the next 100 years.

The Paulding County Carnegie Library and the Friends of the Library are hosting an open house and silent art auction from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17. Guests can view the refurbished interior.

Celebrating 30 years of recognizing outstanding accomplishments in historic preservation, the Ohio Historic Preservation Office Awards have been presented annually since 1983 on the basis of nominations submitted from throughout the state.

The Preservation Merit Award is for preserving Ohio’s prehistory, history, architecture or culture. Eligible activities include, but are not limited to, restoring, rehabilitating or otherwise preserving an important building or site, longtime stewardship of a property, promoting protective legislation, funding preservation projects, offering leadership, support or service and furthering preservation at the local, regional or state level.