The purpose of the construction project at the library is to repair the water leaks at the Gund Addition’s north and south parapets. During the summer of 2019, Simpson Gumpertz and Heger engineers performed a leakage investigation and concluded that water is entering through the backside of the parapet walls and from the cracked cast stones at the top of the parapets.
Designed by the noted Cambridge-based firm Graham Gund Architects, the brick structure echoes the original library building (William Preston, 1883–4) with its pitched slate roof, brick cladding, and decorative masonry. At the same time, Gund’s playful interpretation of historical models and ornament breaks with tradition and makes this building an important local example of post-modern architecture.
Money to pay for this project came from Community Preservation Act funds and a generous donation from Graham Gund. The construction work consists of removing the damaged cast stones at the top of the parapets, repairing the flashing where the parapet walls meet the roof, and installing new cast stones to prevent water from entering the building.