|Dee Coover, executive director of the DeKalb Public Library, speaks during the "Grander Opening" of the Haish Memorial Library on Sept. 10 in DeKalb. The event celebrated the restoration of the historic building. | Photo by Jessi LaRue|
"The library was dedicated in 1931, it was being built during the Great Depression," Coover said. "It was almost unheard of at the time. That could not have been done without his donation."
Haish had left $150,000 in his will for DeKalb to have a building for a library. Before that, the library had held odd spaces in other locations, such as the second floor of the city hall building.
With Haish's major donation, a building was erected on Oak Street, and it served the community for decades. In recent years, however, issues came to light, such as the need for an updated HVAC system, and the fact that the building was not handicap-accessible.The community had also outgrown the 19,000 square foot building, so the library built a modern addition to add space.
|The exterior wall and entrance to the Haish Memorial Library is seen from the lobby of the DeKalb Public Library on Sept. 10. Hundreds of people attended the dedication ceremony for the buildings. | Photo by Jessi LaRue|
|The former exterior wall of the Haish Memorial Library is now inside of the newly expanded DeKalb Public Library. It was cleaned up as part of the building's restoration efforts. | Photo by Jessi LaRue|
Coover said it was important to keep "the ambience of 1930," after all, the Haish building is featured on the National Register of Historic Places.
|Cork flooring was added to the Haish Memorial Library to pay homage to the original flooring in the building in the early 1930s. | Photo by Jessi LaRue|
|The sign denoting the Haish Memorial Library as a historic building. | Photo by Jessi LaRue|
|The teen room in the Haish building features, books, TVs and even video game consoles. | Photo by Jessi LaRue|
|Library patrons learn about the three 3D printers that are now housed in the Haish Memorial Library building. | Photo by Jessi LaRue|
"This wall is just stunning," Coover said while pointing at a wall of the Haish building, which is now part of the library's main entryway. "The entire thing was cleaned up with baking soda, and now it's inside. It's beautiful."
|Members of city government and the library, as well as major donors to the expansion project, gather for the ribbon cutting at the entrance of the Haish Memorial Library building. | Photo by Jessi LaRue|
|Community members hold up a "Proudly DeKalb" sign during the dedication ceremony for the newly restored Haish Memorial Library building on Sept. 10. | Photo by Jessi LaRue|
|Contractors worked to keep "the ambience of 1930" in the Haish building, said library executive director Dee Coover. | Photo by Jessi LaRue|
|Details of the Haish Memorial Library building. | Photo by Jessi LaRue|
|The original desk is still featured in the Haish Memorial Library. | Photo by Jessi LaRue|
|The Haish Memorial Library was the appropriate building to house the local history room, said Steve Bigolin, local historian and library employee. | Photo by Jessi LaRue|
|The local history room features regional books and resources. | Photo by Jessi LaRue|
|The enscription "This building is the gift of Jacob Haish to the City of DeKalb," can still be found in the original entryway of the Haish Memorial Library building. | Photo by Jessi LaRue|
|The original entrance to the Haish Memorial Library is now closed off. The art deco building was designed by Chicago architects White and Weber. | Photo by Jessi LaRue|