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Theodore Burr CB Resource Center at Oxford Memorial Library
Burr's Oxford Memorial Library Renovation

Oxford Memorial Library circa 1908
Oxford Memorial Library circa 1908

OXFORD, NY - As many of you know the Oxford Memorial Library is the last remaining structure built by famous covered bridge builder, Theodore Burr. The library is a remarkable piece of architecture and was listed on the state and National Register of Historic Places in 1981.

In 2005, the Library embarked on a capital project for various improvements in the library consisting of 4 phases plus some miscellaneous projects.

The Plan is to use various means to raise funds and to complete a multi-phase expansion of the Library while maintaining the historical integrity. The Board has been actively seeking various grants, pursuing fund raising projects and is meeting on a regular basis to oversee the project. The following are some highlights of each phase.

Phase One
  • Renovate Reading/Computer rooms creating a Young Adult/Teen room.
  • Miscellaneous basement renovations.
Phase Two
  • Construct temporary ramp access.
  • Construct director's office and staff workspace.
  • Renovate work room, and basement stairs.
  • Renovate work room, meeting room and install new shelving creating much needed space for library collections.
Phase Three
  • Construct new community/program room.
  • Install handicapped assessable lift to entrance of community/program room.
  • Construct new steps and railings at rear entry. Extend rear entry roof with new columns.
Phase Four
  • Attic improvements including insulation, ventilation, reinforce framing, and improve access.
  • Upgrade existing plumbing systems; heating system and add air conditioning.
  • Upgrade electrical system including detection, alarms, exit lighting, security system, etc.

Most exciting to covered bridge enthusiasts everywhere is one additional item included in phase four of the project. The creation of the Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Resource Center.
Oxford Memorial Library 1999
Oxford Memorial Library - Sept. 8, 1999

The center will be specifically designed for those seriously interested in covered bridge research and will house a wide variety of covered bridge resource material. Plans include a covered bridge library including a complete set of covered bridge newsletters from known covered bridge societies. In addition, there will be a special section dedicated to historic covered bridge photographs, postcards and slides. Model covered bridges will also be on display. The Center will have a wide variety of resource material for anyone interested in researching covered bridges, not only in New York State, but worldwide.

The library continues to seek grants, public donations and pledges to fund the project. Pledges may be made for specific parts of the project such as a window seat, shelving, handicapped restroom, or for the specific purpose of establishing and furnishing the Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Resource Center. Donations made for specific projects will be held in escrow for that project. Donations may be sent to the Oxford Memorial Library, PO Box 552, Oxford, NY.

For more information on donations or ways you can help the capital project, contact: Nancy Wilcox, Librarian at: ox.nancy@4CLS.org or 607-843-6146.

For more information on donating covered bridge resource material for the Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Resource Center, contact: Bob and Trish Kane at bobtrish68@frontiernet.net or 607-674-9656.

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Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
This file posted 05/05/2008