A long-standing piece of Cazenovia’s history, the barn adjacent to the public library has undergone a massive historic renovation. The project began as a dream of Betsy Kennedy, director of the library, and the Friends of the Library, over five years ago. Betsy and a design team worked diligently with the State Historic Preservation Office and the village Historic Preservation Committee to ensure the structure remained historically accurate.
The carriage barn was built during a renovation of John Williams’ former residence in 1858. The entire property was purchased by Robert J. Hubbard in 1890 to become the home of the Cazenovia Public Library Society. In the 1980s, long after the use of horse-drawn carriages, the barn became a suitable space to sell donated books. As years went by, the barn aged, as its floors sagged and wood warped and rotted.
In 2018, Mike Walker and Expert Building Services stripped the interior of the barn to its studs, posts, and beams, and rebuilt the interior over the course of a year. The barn now boasts reclaimed wood floors, new walls and windows, and horse stalls restored to their original beauty. Shelving dating back to the opening of the library in 1890, and used until 1996, was restored and reinstalled in the barn. New to the structure are glass doors – to work in conjunction with the historic wooden barn doors, a brick walkway, and an HVAC system.
For decades the barn has served as the location of the annual book sale. The culmination of the restoration process is the unveiling of the barn as Carriage Barn Books – a store-front of like-new books, operated by The Friends of the Library. With a redesigned layout, new shelving, merchandise, and seasonal displays, the store will be open multiple times each month.
The public is invited to the official ribbon-cutting ceremony of Carriage Barn Books at the Cazenovia Public Library on October 26, 2019 at 10:30 AM. Light refreshments will be served and the store will remain open until 5 PM.