Research Library Undergoing Major Restoration Project Pending Town Approval

NANTUCKET, MA – The Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) will be conducting a major restoration project at the Research Library, located at 7 Fair Street, funded by the Nantucket Community Preservation Committee (CPC), pending approval at the next Town Meeting. The Research Library and adjacent Friends Meeting House will close to visitors for the season on April 1 in preparation for this potential project.

“We greatly appreciate the continued support and generosity of the CPC and their recognition of the importance of this work. If approved, this restoration project will address critical repairs to the exterior façade of the Research Library and include interior upgrades, all while ensuring the restoration work is physically compatible with this important historic building,” says Niles Parker, Gosnell Executive Director. “Although we don’t like closing our doors to visitors at any time of the year, this work is vital and will be conducted in a timely fashion to ensure visitors are welcome back through our doors as soon as possible.”

The Research Library is significant in the history of the development of reinforced concrete and was one of the first poured-in-place concrete structures built in the United States in 1904 to house the NHA’s collection in a fireproof building. As an early adapter of this building technology, it is the second reinforced concrete structure in the State of Massachusetts (after Harvard Stadium) and the first reinforced concrete structure in Massachusetts, if not the United States, with a flat roof. Today, the building serves as the primary research center for local and visiting researchers and is an important collection storage center for the association.

The project will include conservation and stabilization of the historic concrete façade, as well as replacement of windows, doors, and entryway roof, installation of a new HVAC control system, fire suppression system, and water and drainage system, as well as some electrical relocation work. This project will ensure the Research Library is structurally sound and guarantee the conservation and security of the collection housed within the building.

Special thanks to the Nantucket Community Preservation Committee (CPC) for their continued support of the NHA over the years, most recently supporting projects including the exterior and interior rehabilitation of the Thomas Macy Warehouse and the Whaling Museum’s Hadwen & Barney Oil and Candle Factory.

The Research Library and Friends Meeting House will be closed to the public from April 1 through November 2023. Throughout this closure, Research Library staff will still be responding to inquiries at and accommodating research appointments on a case-by-case basis.

To learn more about the Research Library, please visit here.


Banner image: Exterior façade of the Fair Street Museum (Research Library) circa 1910.  GPN2841.

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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