Malaga Cove Restoration

The restoration of the Malaga Cove library, completed in 2017, was a decade-long labor of love made possible by many generous donors. The project began on August 11, 2005, when the PVLD Board of Library Trustees commissioned Milofsky and Michali Architects (M2A) to develop a Preservation Plan for the Malaga Cove Library. The design, infrastructure upgrades, and restoration work outlined under that plan were carried out in a series of projects over 11 years.

The periodical area was completed as a prototype for the finishes, cabinetry, and lighting that would be used for the restoration. The most recent projects involved the installation of reproduction lighting in the Main Reading Room and the installation of new Circulation and Reference Desks.

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Here are some of the other areas that were restored:

  • The New Entry and Periodical Room were updated with new lighting, wood finishing on doors and windows, and replica bookcases as a prototype for the design of future work.
  • The metal stacks were modified with new wood bookends and lighting.
  • The previously under-used mezzanine was updated with new computer carrels and a new seating area, which allowed computers that had been located out in the open in the main reading room to be relocated to the new Computer Mezzanine.
  • The Tower Room had fluorescent lighting and a low ceiling removed to reveal the exposed beam ceiling. It was then furnished and supplied with period-consistent furnishings and furniture.
  • The lower Olmstead-designed Gallery Garden was completely restored and re-landscaped using the original specifications for layout and plantings.
  • The Gallery project entailed restoring the light fixtures and fitting them with LED track lighting, as well as adding an art hanging system.
  • All lighting throughout the library was replaced with reproduction lighting and energy efficient LED bulbs. This was particularly notable on the main floor in the stacks and reading areas with the unique, art deco, “saucer” lights in the main reading room.
  • The final touch was to restore the ceiling in the Main Reading Room to its original 1930 appearance. Most recently, the ceiling and battens were white, but in photographs from 1930 they were contrasting, with white battens and a dark brown ceiling. The beams and rafters had been painted a dark brown, but were originally light colored. The restoration has returned the ceiling to its original colors and treatment.

Most impressive of all, perhaps, was that all the work was done over 11 years, funded entirely with donor contributions, without ever having to close the library.

On Sunday, October 29, 2017, the Peninsula Friends of the Library celebrated the completion of the Malaga Cove Library Restoration with a champagne tea to honor those who made the restoration possible through more than $1,000,000 in donations. The Friends are very grateful for these committed members of our community.

For pictures of the event, click here.

(Click photo to enlarge)