Gladwyne Library welcomes back community after renovations | News

A large banner sign on the side of the Gladwyne Library had a simple message, “Welcome back.”

The banner was highlighting the grand reopening of the library that has been shut down for the past 14 months for a major renovation project that was just completed.

Saturday, township and library officials held a ribbon-cutting for the newly renovated building.

“This building is the only library building that we as the township do not own,” said Dan Bernheim, president of the Board of Commissioners and Commissioner for the ward in which the library is located. “But it has been the heart of Gladwyne for a long time – it served as a community center, it served as a religious place, it even served as a basketball court at one point.”

Bernheim went on to thank the Gladwyne community, the library trustees and the staff.

According to Bernheim, the township was able to get funding through the state, including a Keystone Grant, for the new glass elevator.

“We have a Keystone Grant for the Belmont Hills Library which will soon be getting its major facelift,” Bernheim said.

According to information on its website, the building was constructed in 1921 and was originally owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania and known as the Gladwyne Community Hall.

“It has been a post office, a community health center, a polling place (until 1960), a site for various club meetings, and a gymnasium. It hosted community suppers and Saturday night dances and is still a convenient and accessible meeting place for members of the community,” according to the site.

Maud and Stuart Bell established the library out of one of the rooms and in 1951 the Dioceses conveyed the building to the Gladwyne Free Library Corporation.

“Welcome back,” Colleen Coonelly, a member of the Board of Trustees, said to visitors stopping by for the opening. “And I want to…

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