The Pawtucket Public Library was recently awarded a $60,000 grant from the Champlin Foundation for the restoration and repair of the Dome Tower in the Gerald S. Burns Building. The grant will go toward the Library’s match for their $150,000 grant from the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission.
"Pawtucket prides itself on its historical significance,” said Mayor Donald R. Grebien. “We are very thankful for these preservation grants that will ensure that children, residents and visitors continue to enjoy all that the Library has to offer for many years to come.”
“The Library, which has 32,745 registered borrowers, is thankful for the Champlin Foundation’s support of its mission,” said Susan Reed, Library Director. “In addition to this grant, the Foundation in recent years has funded a new roof for the Gerald S. Burns Building, a microfilm reader/printer and new carpeting for the Computer Room.”
The Foundation added, “The Champlin Foundation is pleased to provide grant funding to the Pawtucket Public Library to help this important institution advance its vital mission. Champlin Foundation grants are awarded on a competitive basis and our grant to the Library is a reflection of our confidence in the organization’s ability to improve the lives of Rhode Islanders in significant ways.”
The grants will help to prevent water infiltration and moisture damage; restore and repair windows, window sills, window frames and copper flashing; and repoint and repair the masonry in the Library’s Dome Tower.
The Library’s Gerald S. Burns Building served as the Pawtucket Post office from 1890’s to the 1940’s. At the time of its construction, it was proclaimed the handsomest structure in Pawtucket. It was sited to command a view over the main commercial district. The domed tower served as the entrance to the building. In 1941, the City of Pawtucket acquired the building and it was used as the Municipal Welfare Building. In 1979 renovations began to join it the Deborah Cook Sayles Public Library Building. Both buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.
The design work will be completed by SAAM Architecture, who has completed similar preservation projects in Newport, as well as in Ipswich and Springfield, Massachusetts. Work will begin in Spring 2018.
Since 1932, The Champlin Foundation has awarded more than $550 million to fund capital projects and equipment for Rhode Island non-profit organizations. These investments have fostered better medical care, improved education, expanded access to social services, conservation of open spaces, preservation of historic buildings, enrichment of the arts, advancement of animal welfare and more. Quietly and steadfastly, The Champlin Foundation helps those who do good do more – to the benefit of all.
- Mayor Donald R. Grebien