Saving the Commerce Public Library, Part 2

Jun 5, 2012

COMMERCE - Friends of the Commerce Public Library hope to expand upon a May educational meeting by again calling on the community Thursday concerning their historic facility.

Last month citizens learned that while the library is operationally sound for the foreseeable future, it’s the 95 year old building in which they operate that needs help. Subtract last year’s installation of a new air conditioning unit, and the structure is still nearly $400,000 away from restoration.

The Friends of the Library operates the library and is a non-profit organization. The city owns the building and gives $70,000 directly and indirectly to the library. But that does not cover structural needs.

The subject of the May meeting was to inform residents of plans to create a “Friends of the Restoration” group, responsible for obtaining funds for tackling issues like site drainage improvements, roof repairs, interior painting, handicapped accessible ramp and toilet and elevator.

Thursday’s meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, 1118 Alamo Street. The purpose of the meeting will be to brainstorm solutions to the challenges posed by restoring the building and to set in motion specific actions to address those challenges. Some actions include identifying and developing means of soliciting support from major donors, designating a coordinator of grants and a spokesperson to visit all civic and service clubs, among other items.  

The Commerce Public Library was established in 1954 and in 1971 moved to the old post office building along Park Street. The Texas historical landmark was built in 1918.