Civic: Elroy Public Library

Elroy, WI

The conundrum of how to expand this Carnegie Library building built in 1907 challenged the community for years. The historic building is perched on a steep sloping corner lot bounded by streets, an alley, and residences. Every conceivable expansion option was considered including closing streets, adding to the existing building, and moving to a new site.

The solution is a complementing addition to the rear that became possible when three adjacent residences agreed to sell to the library. The resulting enlarged site affords on-site parking with grade level access into the library. The expanded library retains its original front door on Main Street and a new totally accessible secondary entrance. Both entrances bring library patrons to a centrally located circulation desk that provides one-point supervision of the entire facility. The original building contains the adult collection and a reading lounge around the original fireplace, while the addition includes an expanded children’s area and a multipurpose room.