Expansion and Renovation Project


The Norwalk Public Library is thrilled to announce, as part of our efforts to enhance the library’s services, meet the community’s evolving needs, and revitalize our iconic 1905 Carnegie, we have hired Bostwick Design Partnership to conduct a comprehensive building assessment. Everyone involved with the project, from the Board of Trustees to the team at Bostwick, is committed to preserving our history while embracing the future. This assessment will pave the way for a potential addition and renovation that transforms our beloved library into a vibrant hub for collaboration, culture, and learning.  


Although Norwalk has had a library since 1866, it was a subscription library until the early 1900s. In 1901, B.F. Stewart secured $15,000 from Andrew Carnegie toward construction of a new building. The Firelands Historical Society, Whittlesey Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Young Men's Library and Reading Room Association each contributed $10,000, and the building became a reality. On May 10, 1905, our free public library, Norwalk’s first, opened its doors.

Over the years, our library has undergone some significant changes. After the Firelands Historical Society moved out of the basement in the late 1950s, the Children’s Room moved downstairs. During our 1982-83 renovation, we added 1,200 square feet, including the elevator, public restrooms, and solariums, and remodeled the interior. While these updates have served us well, the Board did purchase the adjoining building, currently Hill's Interiors, Inc., in 2003 with the hopes of growing once again. Today, we recognize the need to modernize our facilities since our current library building faces limitations due to extreme space constraints and outdated design.


To address our current challenges, Bostwick has employed a team of expert architects, engineers, and preservationists to meticulously assess the existing structures. Their thorough assessment will cover critical aspects such as:  

• Structural Integrity: Evaluating the condition of the building’s foundation, load-bearing elements, and structure.

• Space Utilization: Analyzing how efficiently our current space serves patrons and identifying opportunities for improvement.

• Accessibility: Ensuring compliance with accessibility standards to welcome all members of our community.

• Mechanical and Electrical Systems: Assessing electrical, HVAC, and lighting systems for efficiency and safety.

• Historic Preservation: Balancing modernization with the preservation of our library’s historical significance.


We believe that community input is essential for shaping the future of our library, which is why we invite you to participate in upcoming focus groups, meetings, and surveys. Your insights will guide us in creating a space that reflects the aspirations and needs of Norwalk.


Throughout the assessment phase, we will be actively exploring funding options. Community partnerships, grants, and local support will play a crucial role in making a library that not only meets today’s needs, but also anticipates the needs of future generations. A preliminary timeline estimates the comprehensive building assessment to take about six months.  


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