Washington Square Branch Restoration Project

A message to our Washington Square Branch Library patrons:

Due to water damage caused by heavy rains and recurring flooding in the Edison and surrounding neighborhoods, Kalamazoo Public Library has hired Great Lakes Waterproofing and Camelot Service to repair the Washington Square Branch Library’s lower level. These repairs include removing damaged materials such as drywall, installing a dewatering system, and conducting other repairs. These repairs will affect the lower level of the library only. Work will begin on September 10th and is expected to take 8 weeks.

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Washington Square Branch Library
Kalamazoo Public Library photo by John Lacko

KPL recognizes the Washington Square Branch Library is a vital resource to the Edison community. Therefore, the library will not be closed during these repairs but may operate under modified hours during some phases of construction due to noise. KPL is coordinating with the construction company to conduct repairs in the mornings during the hours Washington Square Branch Library would normally be closed. More information about modified hours will be posted once they are confirmed.

Community Resource and Architectural Gem

Since its doors first opened on August 29, 1927, Kalamazoo Public Library’s Washington Square Branch has stood as a beloved community resource and an architectural gem in the Edison Neighborhood of Kalamazoo. Long-time residents of the area have fond memories of enjoying storytime with librarian Ms. Schrier as children, and still consider Washington Square Branch Library—or “Square” as it’s often referred to by patrons—their second home to this day. 

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Washington Square Branch Library, c.1920s
Local History Room

Washington Square Branch Library has undergone a few structural changes since 1927, including a full restoration in 1997 to restore it to its original old English design luster. However, one issue has continued to challenge the integrity of the building over the years – water. Residents of the Edison Neighborhood are very familiar with the high-water table in the community, particularly on the grounds where Washington Square stands. The building has suffered numerous floods in the lower level that have required repairs and replacement of drywall, flooring, drainage pipes and other structural elements.

With the increased occurrence of flooding due to heavy rains, Kalamazoo Public Library is taking the necessary steps to repair structural issues that will protect and preserve Washington Square Branch Library so it may continue to be enjoyed by the residents of the Edison Neighborhood for many years to come.

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Washington Square Branch Library
Kalamazoo Public Library photo by John Lacko