Saturday, November 20, 2021

Old Folsom Library Updated

 In the latest report on the restoration and preservation of the old Folsom library building behind the Giddy Up coffee house, Frank Richerand said that work is nearing completion and a grand opening event is being planned for early December. 

The small building served as Folsom's community library for many years and had fallen into ruins, but Richerand and a number longtime Folsom residents (as well as a few newcomers) have been working to save the building and turn it into some sort of museum or reading room. 

 Special care was taken to use all the original materials as much as possible, in the expectation that the state historical association will designate the structure as a key community heritage resource, since it played such a large part in bringing school children and adults alike library services long before the St. Tammany Parish Public Library System was able to serve Folsom. 

The town now has a much larger library building, opened in 1987, that took over the book lending services, but many oldtime Folsom residents remember visiting this library building, especially those who walked from the Folsom Elementary School to borrow books before the school had a library.

Frank Richerand stands at the door, holding up the original plank with the address numbering on it.
Inside the structure, the walls and windows have been spiffed up. The color of the paint matches a sample of the original sheetrock that someone had saved. 
A new air conditioning system has been installed, and the electric circuits and fuse box brought up to standards. Next on the agenda is the re-installation of the original bookshelves that have been refinished and "Miss Decie" Pittman's original desk which has been restored.
The interior looks great, and the color of the walls are said to match the same color that school cafeteria walls were painted. Outside, most of the lapboard siding was saved and restored, with only a few boards needing replacing due to rot. The original windows were also kept and preserved. 
Large portions of the roof needed to be replaced, but the resurrection fern on top of the roof was preserved. During the roof work, the fern was removed and placed on the ground to the side, then after the roof was finished, the fern was replaced on top of the structure, an effort above and beyond most historical restorations. 

The front of the new roof, with ferns
The back of the new roof, sans ferns.  
As it looked in 2014 (Google street view photo)

As it looks today

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