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meekins public library

The Meekins Public Library has been the social and civic center for the Town of Williamsburg since its construction in 1897. Prominently situated, this beautiful stone building, listed on the Massachusetts Historical Register, provides a centerpiece for the community. Demands for additional reading space, new technology, expanded services, and a growing collection precipitated the need to double the existing structure’s capacity.

This project began with a feasibility study examining options for restoration, renovation, and construction of a new addition to the library. The new 6000 sf addition echoes and responds to the 4000 sf existing structure by relating to the building’s form and stylistic elements. By situating the addition in the rear, space for visitor parking, and barrier-free access is created without obstructing or altering the feel of the familiar historic stone façade. OMR restored the original library’s integrity by bringing it up to accessibility code, repairing windows and structural weaknesses, and repairing the original masonry. To comply with Massachusetts Historical Commission regulations, all work to the existing structure was completed in a manner consistent with the time period in which it was initially built.

The plan consolidates the collection into the addition, and features a local history room, multipurpose space, and the expansion of the popular children’s reading room. Services on each floor promote passive supervision from a predominately volunteer staff. A separate and secure entry is designed to provide direct community access to the multipurpose room and bathrooms at Meekins Library. This unique feature allows options for independent use of designated spaces when the library is closed.