March at the Stockbridge Library

June 12, 2015

Stockbridge Library

Allegrone has been hard at work on the renovation of our 46 Main Street building.  Last week, we were delighted to give a tour of the construction site to the Stockbridge Selectmen and Finance Committee.
 
It is fascinating to watch the renovations taking place inside the Stockbridge Library. Not only are we witnessing the third renovation in our building’s 151 years (1901, 1937, 2015); but we also are gradually uncovering the history of the Library itself.

Even before the construction crew moved in, we solved a mystery about the paintings that had hung in the lobby. With the help of the Rockwell Museum curatorial staff, each painting was checked and photographed as it came down from the wall. The exhibit labels (pictured below right) on the backs of several confirmed what we had only guessed, that local artists created these paintings for exhibition at the annual art show held in the Stockbridge Casino (the casino building is now the Berkshire Theatre Group playhouse). These exhibits were held each year from 1909 into the 1930s and were written up in the New York Times..

If you’ve spent time on the second floor gallery, you know that the only windows were on the south side near the staircase. The other walls were covered in bookshelves. After removing the shelves, we found several spaces where there had been windows throughout the gallery at one time (pictured below left & middle). If you look at the post card of the Library showing the 1901 roof (top of page), there are places where the windows were hidden behind the trim. With the addition of the new room being constructed in the old attic area over the lobby, there once again will be more light in this area with added windows and skylights.

Many thanks to our project superintendent Roger Gaylord, who led the tour, giving our visitors their first look at the progress of the renovation, including framing and foundation work

Article written by Katie O'Neil, Museum & Archives' Now & Then newsletter

Read the full article: HERE

PDF Download of Museum & Archives' Now & Then newsletter

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