Key Peninsula Historical Society & Museum

Restoring the Hall

The restoration of the Vaughn Library Hall is currently on-going.  Work started shortly after KPHS acquired it in 2016, and is now in the first of six construction phases.

 

Pre-construction work

 

  • Building condition: Almost 60 years had passed between the time the Vaughn Library Hall was sold to Harmon VanSlyke and when KPHS acquired it. The building hadn’t changed in shape, size or structure but its appearance was dramatically different both outside and inside.  New exterior siding had replaced a lot of the original.  Most original windows had been removed and new aluminum ones installed in different locations.  Interior walls and ceilings had been added making it look dramatically different from its original appearance.  See the photos below for a taste of what it looked like in 2016.

  • Building cleanup: Each room of the building was full of furniture and other items including many artifacts left from the days when it had been a library and meeting hall. KPHS volunteers spent many work sessions sifting through what was there.  In the end 100’s of artifacts, including many books with “Vaughn Bay Public Library Association” stamped inside, were found and carefully stored for future display.  Additional items not needed were sold and we were able to recycle quite a bit of the remainder.

  • Building analysis: A complete analysis of the building’s structure by a licensed structural engineer revealed that the building was still in generally good condition. Some new foundations and wall repairs would be required but that would not be unusual for a building over 100 years old.  New electrical and mechanical systems would be needed to replace the “knob and tube” wiring and the wood burning stoves.  The original window openings were found and, coupled with historic photos, we are able to match the original’s sizes, appearances and function.  New exterior and interior finishes would be required; luckily enough of the original finishes were found so we knew exactly what to use to restore accurately.

  • Hazardous materials: Asbestos was found in some of the floor tiles used when it was a residence. These were abated by a licensed contractor.

Vaughn Library Hall new underfloor framing on new foundations in 2019

Vaughn Library Hall new underfloor framing on new foundations in 2019

  • Pierce County Historic Designation: In 2017, we submitted an application for historic designation to Pierce County. The County Counsel unanimously approved it later that year.

  • Washington State Historic Designation: Later in 2017, we submitted an application for historic designation to Washington’s Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP). This was unanimously approved in March 2018.

 

  • National Historic Designation: When we received State Historic designation we were told by DAHP officials that we should apply for National Historic designation once we complete a good portion of the restoration. They feel confident that, with enough of the building restored, we would have no problem being placed on the National Historic Register.

Vaughn Library Hall new underfloor foundations and new insulation 2019

Vaughn Library Hall new underfloor foundations and new insulation 2019

Construction Status

We have divided the construction to restore Vaughn Library Hall into phases in order to complete the project in the most cost-effective way and to help focus fundraising.

 

We are currently in Phase One

 

  • Phase One: Make structural repairs to the building’s foundations and exterior walls / roof. Make the building secure and weather-tight with new exterior doors and windows.

  • Phase Two: Install exterior finishes plus new electrical and mechanical systems.

  • Phase Three: Finish the library room and open it to the public.

  • Phase Four: Complete all remaining framing and infrastructure in the rest of the building.

  • Phase Five: Install all remaining insulation and interior finishes / fixtures.

  • Phase Six: Complete all remaining site work and landscaping. Install display materials.

A grand opening celebration will be held as soon as Phase Six is complete and the County has given us “final approval” on our building permit.

 

Vaughn Library Hall new foundations and underfloor framing in 2019

Vaughn Library Hall new foundations and underfloor framing in 2019

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