Community / Historic Architecture
Funded by $1M State Grant, $1M private fundraising, $1M Town referendum
About the Barney Library
The Barney Library is an historic building constructed in 1918, and is a vital part of the Farmington community. Originally built on three levels, the neoclassical building features a grand pediment with a generous cornice and frieze supported by four Ionic columns. The library looks out over the town’s historic green and towards the world-famous Miss Porter's School.
The building was starting to show its age and was no longer meeting the needs of modern library patrons. Scope Construction was brought in to bring the building up to current ADA codes, upgrade HVAC and other systems, and improve the overall layout of the library itself. The work also included an elevator, fire safety improvements, and aesthetic enhancements.
“The library has been beautifully and lovingly restored. It is obvious great care and attention were paid to every detail.”
Jane Dalal, Board Chairman of the Stanley Whitman House
Challenges We Faced
One of the biggest challenges of the project occurred partway into the construction, when it was discovered that the original architectural plans to build on top of the existing middle portion of the library would not work due to its deterioration. This required us to come up with a Plan B. We brought in an architect to help devise a solution.
Solutions that Made the Difference
Instead of building on top of the structure, we built an addition between two parts of the existing building. We removed the antiquated iron fire escape from the exterior and installed a new elevator with a supplemental interior stairway. Now patrons can easily access both the upper and lower levels of the library for community programs.
Taking great care to maintain its historical integrity—and paying particular attention to the masonry construction, trim, and dentil work—the new center entrance for The Barney Library now seamlessly blends in with the existing structures.
What Mattered Most
This project has allowed Farmington to save a lovely, historical landmark. And The Barney Library can continue to meet the needs of the community for the next hundred years.