SNOHOMISH — Mountains of brick, metal and glass stood nearly 10 feet tall in front of the Snohomish Carnegie library on Tuesday, where an annex has blocked its original entrance since the 1960s.
Earlier in the morning, crews had demolished the addition. Construction equipment hummed as workers wandered around the site.
A black line marked the still-standing building like a scar where the old annex had been attached just a few hours before.
In the end, the Carnegie library is expected to look as it did when it was first built. When the annex was added, the original staircase to the main entrance was taken away. Now the plan is to recreate it, said Steve Schuller, city administrator for Snohomish.
Construction is expected to be finished around September. At that time, the city plans to have a ribbon cutting ceremony, Schuller said.
The Carnegie library was built in 1910 on the outskirts of downtown, at the corner of Cedar Avenue and First Street. It was paid for with a grant from Andrew Carnegie’s philanthropic foundation.
Then in 1968, the annex was added for more space. Around that time other developers had wanted to tear down many of the historic buildings in Snohomish.
Instead, the City Council put in place stricter laws to preserve those structures, Schuller said.
“So that ethos is still very strong in the community, of protecting our historic buildings,” he said.
The building was the city’s main library until 2003. After that it was used as a community space for special events.
It closed for good in 2017, and the next year the Snohomish City Council voted to restore it.
Once renovations are finished, the landmark has been designed to look as it did in the early 1900s but with modern elements.
New lighting, along with heating and cooling equipment is set to be installed. Restrooms are going to be completely remodeled.
Both floors will be accessible to those who use wheelchairs or have other disabilities. Before there were only stairs.
Grass will be planted outside, where the annex stood. Someday a veterans memorial may be placed on the lawn.
When it’s complete the space will be used as a community space again.
In all the work is expected to cost about $1.7 million. More than half of that came from state grants, and the rest will come from the city.