In August 2021, the Poets House library at 10 River Terrace suffered a major flood. Miraculously, most of the collection was untouched by the flood. However, there was extensive damage to the space, which is in the process of being repaired.
Keep up to date with our progress toward reopening through our construction updates on this page. And check our our Hard Hat Reading Series to watch poets read their favorite poems in our library.
This was an exciting week in the life of Poets House. The repair work on the space has begun: it’s still preliminary, but it’s wonderful to see progress.
The elevator repair work has started, and the elevator is moving again. Water in the pit is gone, and the electronic components and rusted hardware are all being replaced one by one. In the photos you’ll notice huge barrels lining the lobby. These contain fresh hydraulic oil needed for the elevator—who even knew elevators required vast amounts of oil?
Based on the protocol established by our environmental hygienist/mold specialist several months ago, a repair crew has been using fine tools to scrape away paint to expose and remove mold throughout the first floor. In Kray Hall, they’re using pry bars to remove the wood floor, finding and removing the mold there as well.
When the elevator work is complete, the mold remediation crew will return to treat the north end of the second floor, including the exhibit oval and the reading room floor up to the kitchen, where the flood damage ceases. The mold specialist will come back after the work is done to test again and ensure that all the mold is gone.
Meanwhile, negotiations with the insurance company continue. Each of the specialty materials used in the original build-out of this LEED Gold project must be priced individually for replacement cost. We’re coming to the end of that process now.
Watch Interim Director Cornelius Eady’s hard hat tour around the current Poets House space.