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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Library work becomes community project

Monday, August 20, 2007

Reconditioning an oak transom above the east door of the Cherokee Library became something of a community project, drawing in diverse talents from local craftsmen or craftsmen who are formerly from Cherokee.

Jimmy Davis was contracted by the library board to oversee the project, which was done a little at a time over a six-month period. "I took my time with it," Davis said, "I appreciate being involved in a project like this. It's a joy to work on."

Jimmy Davis (left) assisted by his son, Levi, recently installed the refurbished woodwork above the east door of the Cherokee Library. Photo by Ken Ross
The original ornamentation above what was the main door of the library built over 100 years ago had deteriorated and was covered with layers of paint that hid intricate woodwork. As with all libraries built by the Carnegie Foundation, the word 'FREE' announces that the library served people free of charge.

Since the library is on the National Register of Historic Places, the historic nature of the architecture must be preserved to the extent possible in any renovation project. The same nature of material as the original was used including the hardwoods and the copper top cover.

"For wood on the outside, white oak is the best wood," Davis explained.

Tim Anderson, a Cherokee native who now lives in the Kansas City area and does restoration work, assisted in the project. Mike Taylor did copper work and Louis Hausmann did some wood trim work. Even Davis' son, Levi, a Western Iowa Tech student, was drawn into the project to help.

The transom has been put into place and next there will be work on the door itself as well as glasswork above and behind the door and transom. That will involve a whole other set of skills and craftsman.

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