Excellence in Design, Enriching Our Community

Flower Memorial Library

Client: Flower Memorial Library | Location: Watertown, NY | Completion Date: 2017 | Services Provided: Architectural, Structural Engineering, Construction Administration

The Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library was opened to the public in 1905. It is recognized as more than just a library; it is a museum, a treasure and an essential part of the community.

The PVC piping, which is original to the 1974 renovation, had experienced major leaks over the years resulting in damage to the library’s collection and property. Also, as a result of HVAC failures, areas of the library had to be closed because ambient temperatures rose above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, making it too warm for patrons of the library.    

With leaks, temperature control issues and repair costs on the rise, the library made a decision to replace the current HVAC system with a Constant Volume Air Handling Unit. This upgrade will also keep a majority of the piping isolated to a mechanical room and is easy to maintain. Additionally, a new ceiling with high noise reduction coefficient was installed, and new state of the art LED energy efficient lighting and controls.

Aubertine and Currier (A&C) was contracted to provide architectural and structural services for this $1.2M renovation project. During Construction, A&C paid considerable attention to detail so no damage or disturbance of any historical artifacts occurred. We were hired as the Clerk of the Works to coordinate the removal of asbestos containing materials, installation of new mechanical systems, and architectural items such as ceilings, soffits, chases and flooring. We also performed a code review to maintain the existing fire walls and sprinkler system. Structurally, we were responsible for detailing the infill of roof and floor penetrations, detailing the framing for new roof and floor penetrations and detailing the lintels for any new louvers penetrating the existing brick walls.

Initially the City of Watertown proposed to close the Library for a 3 month term for construction but A&C coordinated construction in a phased approach to avoid any closure.

Aubertine and Currier worked with the client in helping them to understand the US Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Structures, and helped in the implementation of the standards.

During the project, extreme care was taken by Aubertine and Currier to maintain the integrity of historic spaces and works of art. This project upgraded the mechanicals and air quality while preventing further damage to the library, returning many parts of the library to its original state and ensure that the library continues to be the “most beautiful small library in the country” as Emma Flower Taylor described the library when it was dedicated in 1905.

522 Bradley Street
Watertown, New York 13601


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