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Friday, May 6, 2016

Local artisans restore library entrance

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Jimmy Davis (left) and Tim Anderson with the beaded glass window they are restoring. Photo by Ken Ross
Back in 1912, public buildings were constructed painstakingly by craftsman who combined utilitarian sturdiness with an artistic appeal not seen in modern designs.

Carnegie libraries, such as the one in Cherokee, were built with particular craftsmanship in the detail. What was originally the front entrance, facing Second Street (Hwy 59), had been a truly impressive entrance, serving to inspire all who entered.

However, no matter how careful the craftsmanship and sturdy the material, a structure of wood and glass that is nearly a century old will show some deterioration.

The process of restoration is also a painstaking procedure, according to Jimmy Davis, who has been overseeing the project which is now in the final stage, which involves restoring the leaded glass, multi-paned window and the white oak frame.

"We're really fortunate in having Tim Anderson available for this project. There is no one more knowledgeable about this kind of restoration than Tim," Davis said of the person who is assisting him in the project. Tim Anderson is basically directing this phase of it.

Anderson is a native Cherokean who has lived for a time in the Kansas City area and recently moved back. He has had a business doing finish carpentry involving detail work, primarily on furniture.

This last phase of the total library entrance project, which includes the door, a carved Free Library sign and the leaded glass window, will be completed sometime in the fall.

Mary Jo Ruppert, library director, is pleased with the progress being made on the project.

Support for the project has come from the memorial funds of Pat Ellerbroek, Doris Thomas, Don Groff and Mary Sauer. Violet Guest and the Friends of the Library also are supporting the project.

Ruppert noted that the late Pat Ellerbroek, former director of the library, was impressed by the main entrance of the old portion of the library and would appreciate the restoration of the entrance to its former glory.

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