Dunbar Free Library, Grantham NH

Built in 1902, the original Dunbar Free Library was without plumbing and insulation. In the 1980’s it shared space in the Village School, until growth of both town and school necessitated its exit. The historic building was renovated in 1992. A small, new flat-roofed addition at the back provided an entry, restroom, and librarian’s space. Seven years later, a large second addition doubled the library’s size, mirroring the hip-roofed form of the original on the other side of the entry. Unfortunately, the roof configuration, wear and tear, and perhaps some faulty installation work caused leaking over the entry. The Trustees asked me to consult with them about adding a pitched roof over the flat one. After speaking with the contractor and roofing company involved, I made a few sketches illustrating that, despite traditional New England wisdom, a sloped roof is not the best design in every situation. I assisted the Trustees in understanding the flat roof technology, and the probable causes of and options for addressing the leaks. The roof membrane and its flashings were inspected and repaired, ending the problem.  In 2018 a third addition to the library again increased capacity.


Scroll to Top