The transformation of the Sandwich Fire Hall and Stable (1921) into the Windsor Public Library’s John Muir Branch (2019) is an important example of what can be achieved by reviving an historic building.
John Muir was a pillar of the Sandwich Town community. As a school principal, Muir was an advocate for literacy and education. Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens notes, “His fingerprints are everywhere in Sandwich Town, from the movement to take trucks off Sandwich Street to fundraising to better the area, to being the president of Friends of Sandwich Library when it was formed.”
According to project architects Studio g+G inc., “The result is both historic buildings were restored and rehabilitated to their original time periods using historic materials, techniques of construction and methods, supported by forensic analysis. The new architectural work speaks to the language of both buildings on either side and its current time.”
The historically accurate restorations of both heritage buildings include:
- Existing hose-drying tower converted to a glass-capped observation tower
- Sky-lit suspended walkway to a multi-use space on the second floor of the stable, housing the WPL local history collection
- Outdoor piazza constructed with reclaimed granite stones
- Glassed-in community room with built-in digital projector and screen
- Fully accessible heritage building with an elevator between floors
The second floor exposes the original charred timber from a 1941 fire
From Windsor Before and After: a new book from Walkerville Publishing Inc. Release date: Fall 2019. WPI is owned by Chris Edwards and Elaine Weeks.