By Sarrah Peters
At 2 p.m. on Tuesday, October 20, The Hoyt Warsham Library, the Alabama City branch of the Gadsden Public Library was re-opened after being closed for six months for repairs.
The grand re-opening featured the Emma Samsom Middle School Choir, who sang a rendition of “Don’t Stop Believing” by rock group Journey. Light refreshments were served to the guests which included local officials such as Gadsden Mayor Sherman Guyton and several Gadsden City councilmen.
The building is almost 100 years old and needed some repairs. The roof was replaced, as well as the rotten decking beneath it. Some of the cornice work was repaired, and because the building is so old, the replacements had to be handmade. The library was given new carpets and doors and repainted, giving it a “whole new facelift.”
“We were out of there for the summer,” said Gadsden Public Library Director Amanda Jackson. “I know everybody missed it, but it was good to finally get that stuff done.”
The historical building that houses the library was originally Alabama City Hall, when Alabama City was a separate municipality. Then, it became a library and post office where people could also go to pay some utilities. The library was started in 1938 as part of the Works Progress Administration, or WPA. The WPA was one of the New Deal programs established by Franklin D. Roosevelt to employ Americans desperately in need of jobs during the Great Depression. In 2011, the building was designated as a historical landmark.
The library was named after Hoyt Warsham, a Gadsden City Commissioner who was very active in the Alabama City community.
“I think that the library there kind of helps pay homage to that neighborhood library feel,” said Jackson.