Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Opening Day for new Lewiston Library

It's been 13 years since Dawn Wittman, former Library Director, presented her idea of a new library to the City Council.  She could not stop grinning today, although I think she shed a few tears out of sheer emotion!  She told me, "Oh, there were many days I'd come home and say to Dick, 'I don't think we'll ever get a real library.'"  She had wonderful community supporters who formed a foundation, held auctions and wine tasting events, and just plain never gave up.

Dawn and Barry Kough, Tribune photographer
The donation wall

Flag raising followed by short dignitaries' speeches, including Mayor Kevin Poole.

Supporters Dennis Ohrtman and Colleen Mahoney

My friends Mary and Jean
 Cindy and Lisa
 Mary Lou, Betty and Alyse
Senior citizens trying out the new computers!  

The architect, Larry Kom,  preserved the character of the old Erb Hardware building.  Cecilia worked in the paint department shortly after she graduated from high school.  The floors, exposed brick walls, beams are original!  I spent a lot of time in this building, when it was Cornerstone Interiors, looking at furniture, flooring, and other decorations.   They had the best open house at Christmas time. 

I also visited with Larry Kom.  He told me, "this has been my baby for two years.  I'm so happy the way it turned out.  It's so 'Lewiston' with the rough beams, wood floors and industrial lighting - it works for our community." From the Lewiston Morning Tribune:  Ironically, Kom's love affair with the former Erb Hardware/Cornerstone Interiors building began not with creation, but destruction.
"That's when it got really exciting," he said of the initial days of demolition, when old suspended ceilings came down, flooring was removed and partition walls fell. "The design team found that we had a real diamond in the rough, that with some attention and care could become a real special place." Crews tore through four layers of floors and three layers of ceilings in some areas before they found the original surfaces, he said. The remodel of any old building will come with its share of surprises, many of them unwelcome. But Kom said that as the team stripped the interior down to its bones, gems began to emerge from every corner.

The new library is just down Normal Hill - a short walking or bike riding distance from my home.   I rode my bike down for the opening ceremonies and locked it up on this cute bike rack - one of many that were part of the urban renewal project, also completed just a short time ago. And now I have a cute library bag to haul my books back and forth on my back!

There are several lovely pieces of art displayed near the library - this is one of my favorites.
I'm so happy and proud to be living in Lewiston!

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