Magness Library is falling down – at least a piece of one of the front columns is.
That’s the reason a number of orange barriers have been placed in front of the historic downtown building. Library director Brad Walker says he wants to get the facade checked by a company with expertise in this area before allowing cars and foot traffic in front of the building again.
“We don’t want people to be alarmed by this. The library is still open,” said Walker. “I think this probably happened because of the cold freeze we had the other day. Limestone can weaken as it ages. The whole facade was done in limestone.”
The library has four tall columns at its front entrance. As you’re facing the library, the column to the far left is the one which suffered the damage when a decorative piece cracked and fell to the ground. Walker said the part that fell shattered into several pieces.
While other parts of the library are older, Walker said the facade was built in 1931, making it about 83 years old. He said the piece fell Saturday. The barriers were placed Monday.
Walker said the Tennessee Historical Preservation Society was contacted about the broken column piece and that organization recommended Wastco Masonry to perform the restoration. Walker said he believes a representative from Wastco will be in town this week to examine the library facade.
While the barriers are in place, patrons can access the library through the side entrance.