Hayner Library to reopen restored main hall this month. (The Telegram, 5/8/2011)
Excerpt: Vaulted oak ceilings with dog-toothed beams soar over the newly restored main hall in the original Hayner Library Building, first opened for public use in 1891.
On May 21, the 120th anniversary of the opening of the original library at 401 Belle St. in Downtown Alton, the library once again will become accessible to patrons - but this time with state-of-the-art computers positioned on tables for research purposes and display cases lining the walls.
"It's an absolutely stunning facility. We have moved the Illinois Room collection and the genealogy department over here," said Bernadette Duvernoy, assistant director of public relations and marketing. "We're combining the library function with a museum."
The ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. that Saturday.
Designer Mike Lefferson accentuated original architectural features by adding Mission-style furnishings and stained glass lighting, creating a comfortable, inviting ambiance akin to a parlor. The total cost of renovations came to $970,000.