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Carter house unveiled to public PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK, Sentinel Staff Writer   
Friday, 21 June 2013 16:17
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Attendees tour the Carter House in Bowling Green, Ohio after a ribbon cutting ceremony June 21, 2013. (Photos: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Visitors got a look at rejuvenated history as the venerable Carter House was unveiled to the public Friday.
A ribbon cutting and open house for the site, located at 307 N. Church St., and owed by the Wood County District Public Library, was held Friday afternoon. Another open house is scheduled for today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"It's always great to see local history preserved," said Wood County Auditor Michael Sibbersen at the event. "And hopefully it'll be another jewel in the crown of Bowling Green."
The library plans to use the home for special events, meeting and book groups, and will also make the site available for rental to the public.
The more than $150,000 renovation of the space has been years in the making.
Located across Church Street from the library, the two-story home was originally build around 1877 by Norton Reed. It was purchased in 1897 by Benjamin James and was subsequently known as the James House. James was an attorney and served in the Ohio General Assembly.
The house has a deep connection to the library – the Shakespeare Roundtable met in the home in 1905, and the group would later conceive of the first library in the city. That idea, over time and through a variety of forms, would eventually grow into the current library.
The home was later bought in 2005 for $250,000 by Robert and Patricia Mauer, who later gave it to the library. The gift was made in honor of Maurer's aunt, Martha Carter, an educator who strongly believed in libraries.
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Friends of the Wood County District Public Library, library employees and city officials cut the ribbon for the Carter House in Bowling Green, Ohio June 21, 2013 to signify the opening of the library-owned space which will house programs and meetings for the library.
"It's a beautiful facility," said Maurer during his remarks at the event. "If Martha, my aunt, were here, she would be proud to have her name placed on the home."
The idea of making the Carter House a library facility, he said, came from then-director Elaine Paulette McEwen, who suggested it might be used for offices and meetings.
"I didn't think we'd ever see that occur," said Maurer.
Work on the home progressed incrementally since 2006. The library eventually worked with Poggemeyer Design Group as a consultant on the project. In addition to intensive work on walls, moldings and flooring, efforts included the restoration of a balcony and creation of an ADA-accessible ramp. Current Director Michael Penrod was heavily involved in the renovation, which Maurer called a 12-hour-a-day job for Penrod.
Focused attempts were made to ensure that the home could be renovated and brought back to the style of a turn-of-the-century edifice while still remaining functional for the library's purposes. Plaster was refinished, a new kitchen was created, bathrooms were renovated, and many other details were overseen. Colors, light fixtures, and even furniture were carefully chosen. Authentic, refurbished 1920s-era light fixtures, paid for out of donated funds, were among the highlights of the decor.
Yellow and green predominate on the walls of the refurbished home, though some rooms are painted in tints of mauve and red.
"I just think it's wonderful for the library and the community," said Norma Stickler, Bowling Green, a member of the Roundtable. She indicated that the organization is already scheduled to hold meetings there in the coming months.
"We've looked at this place for four years and hoped something could be done with it."
Last Updated on Saturday, 22 June 2013 08:28
 

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