The city’s grand old Carnegie Library building, now the Anacortes Museum, looks better than it has in decades following the completion of an interior renovation program and the application of fresh paint outside.
Restoring the building’s original elegance has been a top priority for Steve Oakley since he became Museum Director almost a decade ago. Since then the gallery has been restored and hardwood floors revealed, boarded-up windows were reopened and ugly modernizations were undone in all the public areas. The renovation of the stairwell and lower hallway, the last area, was completed this fall.
The work was made possible by donations from Phyllis Rodeffer and the Rodeffer Trust (Research Library), Anacortes Noon Kiwanis (UV filtering acrylic window panels and leaded glass entry panel restoration), Anacortes Museum Foundation (floor refinishing, hallway/stairwell and gallery window blinds) and Finders Keepers Chapter of Questers International (stairwell light).
The $30,000 exterior project (funded by the City) was expedited because of the need to repair failing windows. The Anacortes Parks Department removed paint from second floor windows, and painter/ contractor H.S. Wold, who recently painted City Hall, did the painting and repairs.
The new colors were selected from a palette of colors used in 1910, the year the building was completed. Oakley chose buff for the body of the building, reminiscent of the unpainted buff-colored bricks patrons would have seen until the building was first painted (in a cream color) in the 1960s. A later color scheme, possibly inspired by the Bicentennial, included dark blue grays and red trim. Splashes of red are included in the new color scheme, while windowsills, pillars and trim are a dark gray-green.
The building’s revitalization will be celebrated as part of the Anacortes Museum Foundation’s annual Holiday Reception on December 8.