Downtown Hartford Public Library to be closed for months after pipe burst

Downtown Hartford Public Library closed for months after pipe burst
Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 7:29 PM EST
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - The Downtown Hartford Public Library is closed for the next few months after a pipe burst at the building over Christmas weekend.

It caused extensive damage.

“I came to return my books and it’s temporarily closed,” said Joseph Rodriguez of Hartford.

Joseph is an avid reader and frequently visits the Hartford Public Library’s branch on Main Street.

He was surprised to see signs indicating the library is temporarily closed.

“That’s really disappointing because I wanted to check out some books today,” said Joseph.

As cold temperatures and severe weather moved through the state over Christmas weekend, a pipe burst on the library’s roof, leading to extensive damage on all floors.

“We don’t yet know the full scope of it. There is still work ongoing to conduct a full and complete damage assessment. There’s also work ongoing with the insurance company,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.

About 500 people visited the Main Street library each day.

With so much internal damage left behind, it’s going to take months for crews to make the necessary repairs.

“This library sees many people that come for the day as either a warming center or cooling center. Vulnerable populations do seek us out. And that was one of our very first concerns,” said Bridget Quinn, CEO of the Hartford Public Library.

The library also put on many programs and hosted English language classes.

“It’s really sad because there are a lot of people in the community who would love to go into the library and not being able to access the library it’s a tragedy really,” Quinn said.

As repairs are made, programs are being shifted to other Hartford Public Library branches and hours have been extended.

Community partners like Capital Community College are also pitching in to offer spaces for classes.

“We’re in this together and there’s a number of us that will be rallying around our library,” said Dr. G. Duncan Harris, CEO of Capital Community College.

The goal is to have most of the library up and running by the summer.

A restore and renew fund has been created. You can find it here.