Repairs continue at the Hartford Public Library’s Downtown branch

Hartford downtown library repairs update
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 5:39 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Five months ago a pipe burst at the Hartford Public Library’s Downtown branch, leaving behind a huge mess and millions of dollars in damage.

The library hoped to open parts of the building by June, but it’s going to take longer.

From the outside it doesn’t look like much, but inside is a different story.

There’s a ton of water damage and sadly, the library won’t open in time for summer.

On a typical day around 500 people if not more would visit the library branch on Main Street.

“I liked the fact that it was so big and also they offered a lot of programs and different programs for people like computer courses and stuff like that,” said Isis Wylie of Hartford.

Wylie would go there often.

“Frequently to do some studies for school and also to take my nephews and stuff like that,” Wylie said.

The downtown location has been closed since December.

After frigid temperatures moved through the state over Christmas weekend, a pipe burst on the library’s roof, leading to extensive damage on all floors.

“The damage is intense and widespread,” said Hartford Public Library President and CEO Bridget Quinn.

The initial hope was to have parts of the library ready in time for summer, but with so much water damage it’ll take a few extra months.

“After the contractors got on site and we started doing some of the environmental testing. It really necessitated more remediation than we had thought. So it’s an evolving process,” Quinn said.

While it’s a big loss for the community, other public library branches are offering extended hours and programming.

“I was very surprised that it was just so much damage from top to bottom,” said Ada Roman, Senior Library Assistant for the Hartford Public Library.

Roman used to work at the Downtown Branch and now works at the Park Street location.

While she misses the downtown location, she’s looking forward to seeing how the renovated library will look.

“I’m also excited because we can open up something new. Something exciting. Some change will be nice,” Roman said.

The hope is parts of the library will open by the fall.

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