Building Assessment

The Clapp Memorial Library is a significant structure within the National Register Belchertown Center Historic District. Completed in 1887, the Richardsonian Romanesque building, designed by Henry Franklin Kilburn, is a bequest to the town of Belchertown by John Francis Clapp, successful NYC merchant and native son.

A private entity, the library is governed by a Board of Trustees who actively advocate for library resources. Recognizing that, while the building itself is a significant asset, its specialized upkeep is a drain on financial resources that could be directed to library programs and facilities, the Board of Trustees contracted with CME Architecture, Inc. in December of 2014 to perform a detailed conditions assessment. The purpose of the assessment along with treatment recommendations and a prioritized preservation plan is to identify the requirements and associated costs to preserve and maintain the building.

The CME team consisted of a historical architect, structural engineer, mechanical and electrical engineers, preservation consultant, and stained glass specialist each of whom surveyed the property to assess existing conditions in a noninvasive manner. The findings of these studies are presented in the body of this report as well as in the Appendices.

The following document includes a prioritized plan for implementation of historically appropriate treatments and the development of systems for code compliance. Design and construction budget costs were developed, reflecting the prioritized plan of action, totaling $503,000 over the course of the next 10 years. A cyclical maintenance plan developed specifically for the library will assist the Board of Trustees in maintaining the building and the investment in preserving this significant and beloved community asset.

Click here or on the image below to download a pdf of the Building Conditions Assessment.