Carrier Renovation Work Uncovers Hidden Gems from 1939

Posted on: October 24, 2023

Do you know that feeling you get when you find something you didn’t even realize was lost? It’s that mix of gratitude and delight with a dash of surprise. That’s the feeling we had in the Libraries when we uncovered the decorative column capitals that had adorned Carrier Library since the original building opened in 1939. A few of them had been visible in the historic entrance lobby, but most had been covered by drop ceilings installed in the 1960s. 

“As part of the pre-construction planning, the design team needed to confirm existing conditions in the building,” recalled Kelly Miller-Martin, the Libraries’ Director of Facilities Operations. “So pretty early on, the team peeked above the drop-ceiling tiles and got a glimpse at one of the capitals. When Carrier closed, they removed the tiles, and we saw how many of them remain.” There are well over a dozen ornate column capitals in portions of the original building, some of which are painted a lustrous birds-egg blue.

These decorative elements will remain and will be visible in the historic lobby and one of the open study areas on the first floor when Carrier Library re-opens in the fall of 2026. Just one more way that we are preserving the past while creating the future.  

Learn more in this additional story: Connecting the Past and the Future of Carrier Library with 3D Technology.

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