John Jermain Memorial Library Executive Director Catherine Creedon gave a tour of the 1910 landmark library on Main Street in Sag Harbor on Thursday. The newly renovated building and its brand-new wing, which broke ground in 2011, are expected to open their doors to the public in late summer. Creedon commented, “It’ll be interesting to see which doors patrons gravitate toward.”
Right now the interiors are full of equipment, building supplies and workmen. Some of the original furniture is in use in the library’s temporary space on West Water Street. Most of the library’s archives and books are in storage.
Creedon pointed out some special details of the old site. The famous crack in the entrance hall’s terrazzo that dates to the Hurricane of 1938 has been filled—with bright metal—to protect the integrity of the floor while commemorating the event. The crack’s new bonded bronze inlay was funded by a donation from library supporter and world-famous artist Eric Fischl. Four of the library’s long-missing chandeliers have been found and have been refurbished to once again shine. The building’s original wall sconces have also been renewed and will return.
The library that was given to the Sag Harbor community in 1910 was funded mainly by benefactress Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage and named in memory of her grandfather John Jordan Jermain. Jermain served in the American Revolution and during the War of 1812.
The new, largely glass building is a separate structure from the original building, but the two are connected by open doorways on all three floors. Creedon commented, “I love to look at the old building; there is so much natural light now!”
The new space includes additional bathrooms, more room for teen activities, a meeting room that can accommodate up to 88 seats and increased storage and work space.
The British fragrance brand Jo Malone London has donated a fragrance garden to be planted along the Jefferson Street side of the new building. The garden is set to open to the public in the spring.
For more information about the library and how to donate to the building project visit johnjermain.org.