Massachusetts Historical Commission - 2015 Preservation Award Winners
Weymouth, Fogg Library

Weymouth • Fogg Library

Rehabilitation & Restoration

Constructed in 1897 with funding donated by John S. Fogg, a successful businessman who resided in South Weymouth for most of his career, the Fogg Library is located in Columbian Square in the village of South Weymouth, and is individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Worcester architects Cutting, Carleton & Cutting designed the building in the Renaissance Revival style, and the stained-glass panels in the tops of the reading room windows were fabricated by Reading, Baird and Company of Boston.

Prior to its recent rehabilitation and restoration, the library had suffered from building envelope deterioration that allowed significant water infiltration, to the extent that the town closed the library in 2005. The town conducted extensive surveys to analyze existing problems, and utilized Community Preservation Act awards, Community Development Block Grant funds, and other sources of funding to rehabilitate the building. From 2009 to 2010, extensive exterior repairs included stone removal, cataloging, and replacement; new back-up walls and structural improvements in the attic; and a new slate roof with new copper flashing and gutters. When necessary, materials were replaced in-kind, and the exterior retains much of its historic fabric. From 2012 to 2014 the town followed up with extensive interior and window repairs, utilizing a Massachusetts Preservation Project Fund (MPPF) grant. Wood window frames and sills were restored and stained glass repaired. Basic restoration resulted in operable, weather-tight windows, and historic window hardware was refurbished. The window restoration also included historic paint analysis and repainting on exterior sash and casings, as well as interior sash. Interior restoration included repair of heavily damaged plaster and wood paneling, with significant plasterwork at areas affected by long-term water penetration. The library's built-in furnishings remain unchanged, and the main floor and second-floor stack area retain their original plans. The basement was renovated to incorporate meeting rooms, restrooms, and staff areas, and a fully accessible entrance, elevator, and restrooms were added. The project also included new plumbing, HVAC, and electrical work. The sensitive rehabilitation project has allowed Fogg Library to resume its significant role in the community, offering 21st-century library programs and services to the residents of South Weymouth.

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