This Week's Events

If you would tell me the heart of a man, tell me not what he reads, but what he rereads. ♦ Françoise Mauriac

Blauvelt Free Library

Renovation Update | December 1, 2016

December 1 | Backhoe crew are backfilling the space around the elevator shaft with dirt and debris from the surrounding area. They also laid down gravel and cut a drainage pipe to bury inside the enclosure. In the afternoon, additional fill was trucked to the site.

November 26 - 29 | On Saturday, the base of the elevator shaft was waterproofed with tar. A crew arrived Monday to build a floor-to-ceiling enclosure at the entrance to the Mary Behringer Room. The structure will isolate the construction site where the elevator opens into the building. In late afternoon, workers broke through the outside wall and continue to enlarge the opening despite the drizzle.

November 16 - 23 | A rebar grid was laid within a wooden frame into which concrete was poured to form a slab. Early the week of November 20th, shaft building commenced in earnest with a full work crew. About 12 feet of a 34-foot concrete block elevator shaft enclosure was constructed, reaching just a few feet below the windows on the main floor. Next to the shaft is another enclosed space, which will serve as the elevator's machine room. Late Wednesday, the outer wall of the shaft was covered with a veneer of concrete -- a technique called "parging."

November 14/15 | The concrete footing from the base of the 1998 addition was cut from the foundation wall using both a drill and circular saw, filling the air with a fine particulate that enveloped workers in "smoke." Concrete blocks were delivered to the shaft hole by sliding them down a wooden plank. Tuesday's rain filled the hole and submerged the concrete slab. Construction should resume on Wednesday with the laying of blocks for the elevator tower.

November 10 | The cement truck is arriving at 10am to pour the slab for the base of the elevator and the adjacent equipment room. The elevator carriage will be ordered (plans take a month to complete) and footings will be prepared for the base of the Quiet Study Annex (aka porch). On Friday, concrete blocks will arrive in preparation for the construction of a 34-foot shaft to commence on Monday, November 14th.

October 31 - Nov 7 | We're back in business! Back hoe activity resumed Wednesday, November 2nd with the pumping of water from the hole -- or should I say "moat." Once the slab for the elevator foundation is poured, the concrete ledge which was part of the foundation for the 1998 addition (aka "Mary Behringer Room") will be sheared off to create a flush surface for the tower. If you don't believe me, come see for yourself!

October 19 | Insurance matters are still being sorted out. Pity, since conditions are great for outdoor work.

October 3 | The depth of the hole for our elevator shaft has reached 20 feet, but work has temporarily stopped while we resolve some insurance issues. The trencher left for parts unknown this morning. All quiet on the Western Highway front.

September 29 | If you're a fan of really deep holes, come visit our worksite. You'll have to peer out the window or watch from the street. The crew is breaking up the sandstone bed with a trencher. They're down about 12 feet and need to dig out another 4 feet for the elevator shaft.

September 22 | J.D. Backhoe removed bushes along Western Highway and laid down gravel for construction equipment to gain access to our south lawn in preparation for the dismantling of our existing porch for remodeling beginning Monday, September 26th. We are officially in Renovation Mode!

September 9 | Our renovation budget has been approved and a contractor chosen to spearhead a year-long project beginning in early October of this year. We will post ongoing updates to our website's home page and Facebook. The library plans to remain open for the duration of the renovation. We hope you will enjoy the adventure with us, as we address longstanding issues of accessibility and comfort without sacrificing any of the library's unique charm.

Rail Trail Open for Business | August 25, 2016

During the week of August 22nd, benches, a garbage receptacle and a two-sided kiosk were installed. The library was responsible for one side of the kiosk which describes the history of the railroad and its relation to the library. The grass has been mowed in preparation for inspection by Orangetown administrators. Removable wooden security stanchions were locked in place to prevent errant vehicles from cruising on the walkway. The whole scene is really quite impressive. If you haven't had a look, please stop on over. Dog walkers, cyclists and joggers have already made it a favorite destination.

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