Essex Library Grand Reopening
to Reveal Extensive Upgrades
More than 100 years after its first opening in 1899 as the Essex Free Library at Greystone Cottage, the Belden Noble Memorial Library of Essex, New York, is holding an open house to showcase its latest renovations on Saturday, September 30, from 2 to 4 pm.
After several years of planning and funding initiatives, the Library has expanded the children’s area and moved it upstairs, renovated the Donald Beggs Memorial Room, upgraded the Library’s electrical and lighting systems, restored the slate roof, and improved energy efficiency with new insulation, storm doors, and storm windows.
Board Vice President Maureen Delaughter, who served as project manager, as well as Colleen and Jim Van Hoven and Kevin DeLaughter, spent many hours writing grant applications to help pay for the renovations and supervising the work of several contractors. The Library was ultimately successful in receiving a grant of $60,179 from the New York State Aid for Library Construction Program in 2016. Board President Colleen Van Hoven and Library Director Tom Mangano raised additional match funds for these improvements from library patrons, the people of Essex, and other individuals, who contributed generous gifts totaling $21,000. The Town of Essex, led by supervisor Ed Gardner, gave its full support to the Library’s renovations. The work began in October 2016 and was completed this past summer.
Meanwhile, to make the Library more visible from the street, the Library Board decided to commission a handsome new exterior sign to replace a small sign that has hung above the front door, mostly obscured by the Library’s massive balcony brackets. The old sign, a simple painted board, dates to 1899 and was overpainted with its current name sometime in the 1950s or ’60s. The new sign, which now extends outward from the middle post of the Library’s lower balcony, was made possible by a grant from the Essex Community Fund. Essex resident Nicholas Rumsey donated a hand-forged wrought-iron bracket.
“We can’t wait to share this renovated space with our visitors,” says Board President Colleen VanHoven. “So far, everyone who’s seen it, including children, has given it rave reviews.” Librarian Tom Mangano added, “Be sure to join us for the Grand Reopening on Saturday, September 30, and see for yourself these exciting new renovations.”
For more information, please contact Belden Noble Memorial Library, 518-963-8079.