Cracks and peeling paint in the Henderson County Public Library’s rotunda are no more after a New Jersy company spent half of August restoring it.
The rotunda is a part of the architecture for the original library structure built in 1904, according to historical information provided by Donna Spencer, a genealogy and local history associate at the library.
The rotunda hadn’t had any work done to it since 2002, when a team of art restoration experts discovered and restored painted laurel leaf borders around the murals that had been covered up at some point during the previous century, Spencer said.
Library staff had been noticing significant cracks in the plaster of the rotunda’s mural and the paint was peeling, said Wayne Kenney, the library’s custodial maintenance manager. Kenney also said library staff wanted to learn if there were problems underneath the plaster’s surface.
Kenney described the cracking as “pretty significant” and mentioned one 12 inch by 12 inch crack in the shape of a cross as an example.
“It was big enough to be seen from down here,” Kenney said, while standing underneath the rotunda.
He also said there was a concern plaster could fall off the rotunda and hit someone.
Library officials contacted John Tiedemann Inc., a New Jersey company that specializes in church restorations, including historic plaster conservation, according to its website.
Kenney said the library learned of this company through the First United Methodist Church, which also had work done by Tiedemann.
The cost of the restoration was $49,900, according to Kenney.
“It wasn’t cheap but I think it was worth it,” he said.
Another quote came in at $70,000-plus and another was $80,000-plus, Kenney said.
The work was scheduled for 3-4 weeks through August, but Tiedemann workers finished by mid-August. Both Kenney and Spencer are happy with the results.
“You don’t get this type of architecture anymore, and it needs to be preserved,” Spencer said.