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Hale Library Blog

Month: September 2020

Building update: Work on the murals begins!

This week, we’re celebrating the start of restoration work on the murals! Over the next few weeks, Rachel Gilberti and her art restoration team from the John Canning Company will review the murals and work to bring them back to their original glory.

The murals in the Great Room gave been uncovered.
The murals have been uncovered for the first time in nearly two years and restoration work has begun.

Back in 2018, soon after the fire, Gilberti and a team came in to assess the damage and do as much immediate repairs to the murals as they could. Afterward, they were covered while the rest of the Great Room underwent its huge reconstruction and restoration process. Last week, the covers were taken off the murals for the first time in two years!

A picture of Rachel Gilberti in front of the murals.
Rachel Gilberti, fine arts conservator with the John Canning Company, holds acetate transparencies of the murals from two years and today. The transparencies show the difference in damage to the murals from right after the fire to how they look today.

The fourth floor has seen some significant progress lately, as crew members work on installing ceiling tile and mobile bookshelves. Further work has also been done on the graduate study rooms on the third floor, along with the staircase within the Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab.

The stairs between the first and second floors of the Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab are covered with wood temporarily.
The stairs connecting the first and second floors of the Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab are currently covered with wood. After completion, the wood coverings will be removed to reveal stone steps.
The graduate study rooms on the third floor are under construction.
Graduate study rooms on the third floor will provide dedicated space for graduate students to use. 

On the first floor, students, staff and faculty have been able to visit and purchase items from the newly opened Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Café. Right now, visitors can purchase grab and go options and consume them in the café area.

Inside Joyce and Joe's Cornerstone Cafe, grab and go food and drink options are laid out for visitors.
The grab and go section of Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Café provides easy snacks and drinks for those who need a little extra energy while studying! The café will offer an expanded menu of made to order items later this semester.
A picture of crew members working on installing the rails for the mobile bookshelves on the fourth floor.
Crew members on the fourth floor have been installing the rails for the mobile bookshelves.
A picture of the southwest stairwell leading to the fourth floor, with a stained glass window.
In the southwest stairwell leading to the fourth floor is a stained glass window, undamaged by the 2018 fire. The circular sunflower window was made by Bill Hemminger in memory of Elmer Tomasch, an art professor at K-State during the seventies. Tomasch made the statue of Johnny Kaw in City Park.
Crew members work on repairing and painting the ceiling in the fourth floor corridor.
Crew members work on repairing and painting the ceiling in the fourth floor corridor. We’re super impressed with their ability to balance on the stilts they use to reach high spaces!

Next week on the blog, we’ll be sharing more details and pictures of the murals’ restoration. We’re excited to follow their progress!

 

 

Building update: Adding dimension and color

While students, staff and faculty have been adjusting to a new normal at K-State and within the community, work on Hale Library has continued at a rapid pace.

Libraries staff are ecstatic to see books back in the library. Stack A is now completely filled with books that have been cleaned, sorted and re-shelved. While the books will not be available to patrons immediately due to ongoing construction, it is still exciting to have books back in the library.

A picture of stack A completely filled with books.
Stack A is filled with books, thanks to the efforts of the Belfor team and Libraries staff!

With the third floor completely carpeted, crew members have started constructing furniture, such as study nooks behind the Friends of the K-State Libraries Instruction Room.

The inside of the Friends of the K-State Libraries Instruction Room, filled with carpet.
A glimpse inside the Friends of the K-State Libraries Instruction Room. While the room appears to be shaped like an ellipse on the outside, the inside is actually rectangular.
Study nooks have been constructed just out side of the Friends of the K-State Libraries Instruction Room.
Just outside the Friends of the K-State Libraries Instruction Room, study spaces have been installed for students to use. Libraries staff conducted assessment on the use of the first floor furniture and spaces and found that this design was popular with students. The assessment results were taken into account when deciding on furniture for the upper floors.

In the Great Room, the crew is working on painting decorative moldings and staining the bookshelves lining the room. The added color in the historic space is exciting to see. Art restoration specialists will officially start work on restoring the murals this week. We can’t wait to share pictures with you throughout the process!

The bookshelves that line the Great Room walls have been repaired and stained.
The bookshelves that line the Great Room walls have been repaired and stained. We love the beautiful finish!
A crew member works on painting the cornices in the Great Room.
A crew member works on painting the cornices in the Great Room.
A picture of the Great Room murals and bookshelves.
The John Canning company is scheduled to arrive with their equipment this week to begin the six week process of restoring the Great Room murals.
A picture of a corridor on the fourth floor of the building.
Looking toward the west end of the building, this is what a corridor on the fourth floor currently looks like.

Lastly, we wanted to share the exciting news that Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Cafe is officially open! The cafe, located on the first floor of Hale Library, is now offering grab n’ go options for patrons who want a snack while visiting the building. There are plans to expand to made-to-order options later in the semester.

We hope you’ll stop by for a visit and a bite to eat!