JP History: Marking a renewal of the historic JP Branch Library

Two events celebrations are coming—one filled with superheroes and another bringing stories to life—for the renovation of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library building at 12 Sedgwick St., which opened in 1911.

The building was the first building specifically built by the City to function as a branch library. An addition was built in 1936 and the interior was remodeled in 1963.

The century-old building will close Aug. 1 for a renovation that will take 18 to 24 months to complete. Construction is expected to begin in the middle of September.

The renovation will create a 700-square-foot, glass-enclosed reading room and computer lounge facing South Street. A new teen area and updated children’s area are included in the plan. Another feature is a new “maker space,” with a 3-D printer and graphics-editing computer software.

“I am excited that the new design honors the historic building, but also brings it along to the 21st century with the new addition,” said Gretchen Grozier, Friends of JP Branch Library co-chair and president of the Jamaica Plain Historical Society. “JP has always been a neighborhood that honors our rich past but moves bravely into the future. The new JP Branch Library building will definitely embody that concept.”

The first event to take place will be “Memories of JP Branch” on July 25. Attendees will share their memories of the library and they will be brought to life by the True Story Theater. The second event is on Aug. 1 and will feature superheroes, such as Superman, Spider-man, Wonder Woman and the Hulk. The plans for the renovation will be discussed, and JP Licks and FoMu ice cream and cake will be available.

“They tie in with the theme of the summer reading program,” Grozier said about the superheroes. “And on the last day of the branch being open before the renovation, why not have superheroes, right?”

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