@ the library
This Week's Events
With freedom, books, flowers and the moon, who could not be happy? ♦ Oscar Wilde
Blauvelt Free Library
Thank you to all those who braved the deluge yesterday to come out and vote. The Referendum passed by a total of 256 to 57 (including absentee ballots). The Blauvelt Free Library is forever indebted to our wonderful patrons for their support. We are here for you, and you are here for us. You'll find the breakdown of votes by library here.
April 24 - 25 | In a feat of engineering, framers worked to level the very uneven lobby floor, which left the main floor restroom two inches higher than the surrounding area (problem-solving for that issue currently in progress). Rotted timbers were removed and replaced. Masons shored up the floor by adding piers in the basement and replaced a missing portion of the foundation. On Tuesday, they added new old brick to the fireplace chimney above the level of the old ceiling. Contractor, Dave Sirois, surprised me by installing an historic reclaimed piece of timber over the vestibule entrance. Made my day!
April 18 - 21 | Masons poured a platform for the generator which is as big as a schoolbus and capable of powering the entire facility in the event of a power outage. We intend that the library serve as a safe house for families disadvantaged by a blackout. Meanwhile, roofers continued to paper the new roof joining the elevator to the existing building. The lobby floorboards were torn up to reveal the original support beams in the oldest part of the building. The initials "HC" were boldly etched in large black letters on one of the girders, and I got excited thinking about the craftsman who had so proudly initialed his handiwork, until one of the workers informed me that "H" and "C" were there to identify the hot and cold water lines. On Thursday, the crew framed out connecting walls between the elevator and second floor. Another team spent the last two days installing a door wall closing off the Quiet Study Annex from the elevator lobby and are continuing down that hall laying new joists for the floor above. Access to the Mary Behringer Room has been cut off from the inside, and patrons hoping to use the public computers must exit the library and re-enter through the Community Room. Our staff refrigerator is back there, which makes for some grumpy employees.
April 15 -17 | The roof was papered on the Saturday before Easter, so the green tarp is a thing of the past. On Monday, two crews are hard at work -- one pulling off the roof and walls to bump out the front desk and staff room, and the other prepping the cement block elevator tower by overlaying the corners with wood lath so it can be sided with HardiePlank. One of the framers was blown off his ladder when he tilted the sheet of plywood just as a gust of wind rose up, throwing him 16 feet to the ground. Luckily he landed on his feet, the panel of wood breaking his fall. Another minor miracle.
April 10 - 12 | 70-degree weather for the next few days helps move the framing along. The ridgepole and rafters over the second floor office suite are installed and the front of the building is taking on a whole new look. Plywood is laid for the roof and walls. The view from within begins to suggest the layout of the office and storage areas.
April 5 - 7 | The beautiful ceramic tiles it took me ten dealers to locate in 2012 were torn up yesterday in a crush of clinking porcelain and dust. Old floorboards were revealed as much the worse for wear with round holes and one ragged gap that marked where a sink and toilet had once sat in front of the present-day circulation desk when the fireplace wall marked the east end of the house. The temporary door around the main floor restroom was removed, and I am told that the roof will come off on Saturday so the crew can frame out the new office suite and storage area over the main entrance. One of the workers (Jorge) handed me a scrap of thick paper with the name "Johan Raab" written in blue pencil and the name "Hutton Brothers" printed in black ink. Johannes "John" Raab bought the house in 1864 and assumed ownership of the general store, continuing as proprietor until 1882. He was the father of Hypolit J. Raab who was the father of Catherine Raab, the last of the family to live in the homestead. She vacated the premises on Halloween day in 1958. The Hutton Brothers ran a lumber yard in Nanuet at the end of Main Street. According to a newspaper clipping found online, they sold 16 foot long pine, spruce and hemlock boards in either 4 inch or 8 inch widths. Their names were (I am not making this up) Chester, Lester and Sylvester.
April 3 - 4 | I'm sure progress is being made, judging by the incessant whine of the saw and the pounding of the nails. Steel support posts were delivered and await installation. Masons are building a framework around the top of what remains of our chimney, so they can patch it with concrete and then lay in new old bricks up to the elevated ceiling line. Our landscaper was able to prep the Japanese Maple for its move to the front yard, owing to the fact that a 60 kw generator will take its place on the south lawn. Generator and living greenery are not a good combination, as generator exhaust contains deadly carbon monoxide.
Blauvelt Free Library | 541 Western Highway Blauvelt, NY 10913 | 845 359 2811
Mon - Thurs 9 - 9 | Friday 9 - 5 | Sat 11 - 5 | Sun 1 - 5
Closed Sundays in the Summer