Parker Hill Library to reopen this summer

June 1, 2018
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The Parker Hill Branch Library will reopen this summer, according to Boston Public Library spokesperson Rosemary Lavery.

An exact date has not been determined, but Lavery said BPL hopes to have one sometime this month.

The library closed last July to undergo a renovation to address a series of façade and exterior problems to prevent leaks in the building. The renovation also includes interior painting, plaster repairs, masonry repairs, and window replacement.

“[The reopening] is on track for this summer (approximately a year after it closed), on budget and no problems encountered,” said Lavery in an email to the Gazette. “The budget is $2.4 million. There will be a celebration. Programming is under development currently. We all look forward to the reopening of the branch.”

While the library has been closed, a limited selection of its programming has been dispersed at different sites in the area.

The Parker Hill Branch began in 1907 as a small reading room at a storefront at 1518 Tremont St. It became an official BPL branch in 1924 and moved to its present location at 1497 Tremont St. when Mayor James Michael Curley opened the building in 1931. The 10,200-square-foot, two-story Gothic building was designed by the famed architect Ralph Adams Cram.

It is the second time the library has closed for a renovation in the past 15 years. The library was closed for a year in 2005 to undergo a renovation that included installing a ramp and elevator, to make the building handicap accessible. A few years before that, the Friends of Historic Mission Hill filed a petition with the Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC) to landmark the building. The BLC voted unanimously to accept the petition, which is still pending. That requires any work to be done on the building be approved by the BLC.