The library moves into its new location at 402 East Main st., after 65 years at 127 Cuyler St.
For the first time since 1946, Palmyra has a new library building.
The Palmyra Community Library opened to the public on Monday morning at its new location at 402 East Main St.
Library Director Patricia Baynes is pleased with the new structure.
“This was the International Headquarters for the Garlock Packing Company,” Baynes said. “We restored the original ceramic tile. It had deteriorated over the years and it was all covered. We didn’t it was even there. Garlock provided us with a grant to help restore that.”
Baynes has a photograph of the Garlock Office Building from 1906, which will be framed and put on display.
The library’s former location was a house at 127 Cuyler St.
“It was a beautiful, charming old house that was chopped up,” said Baynes of the Tyler St. location. “It was donated but it wasn’t appropriate for a library, given the activities that go on in a library now.
“We had been there since 1946, but the library started in 1899. We bought this building four years ago, so it’s been four years in the making as we got funding and state grants and private grants from various foundations. So here we are, happy day,” she added with a smile.
The library received over $400,000 in various grants to restore and upgrade the building, but a total expenditure, to date, was not available.
The windows were restored to their original size and trimming, and many of the lightening fixtures were restored to the original style.
“It’s exciting to see this building getting used from something like this because it’s always been a nice asset to the community,” said Alicia Lynch, who is a member of the library’s Board of Directors. “It’s nice to see the building open like this to the public.”
The advantages to the new location are numerous.
“We’ve got a lot more space,” Baynes said. “We’ve got a computer area, so we’ve doubled our computer space. We’ve got room upstairs for programs in a separate room. Before, the children’s activities in the room had to be closed off. Now we have a separate room for those programs.
“We’ve got space on the shelves to expand, which we didn’t have in the other library. We have room for the community to gather. We have a nice seating area in the front, and a nice seating area in the back.”
Baynes added, “We’ve got room to expand in this building, there’s a third floor and a basement that we haven’t renovated yet. This is just the first phase.”
The first person to walk through the front entrance was Marilyn Burke of Palmyra.
Page 2 of 2 - “Oh, it’s beautiful,” she said. “They’ve actually got room on shelves for more books. It’s gorgeous in there.
“I hadn’t been in it before when they had their open house, so it was really surprising to me.”
Down the road Baynes said the basement will be used for children’s programs, annual book sale, and any community group’s activities.
“The third floor will be more of a community room,” Baynes said. “It will be very elegant. There are big windows up there, and we hope to put a kitchen in.
“We could have concerts, special events, library events but also community events. We’re excited about that, but that’s down the road.”
Carolyn Bradstreet is a Board of Directors member and was on hand for the opening.
“I think this is an excellent addition to the community,” she said. “We’ve got community support. We’ve got children and adults who need to have up-to-date information. We can provide that now.
“We’re a community with the resources that we need.”