The exterior brick of the Tooele Pioneer Museum will return to its 1911 condition after the Tooele City Council approved a resolution last week to restore the outside of the building.
The city entered into an agreement on Sept. 5 with Abstract Masonry, Inc. of Salt Lake City to perform the restoration project for $84,986. Located at 47 E. Vine, the building, which is run by the Sons of the Utah Pioneers, is the city’s former Carneige Library.
“This has been a project that the council has wanted to see happen for a number of years,” said Tooele City Mayor Debbie Winn. “This year at our town hall meeting, the council was approached again by the Sons of the Utah Pioneers. The council and I agreed that we would use PAR tax money to complete the project, so we are ready to get started.”
PAR is the acronym for Parks, Arts and Recreation. The PAR tax was approved by city voters in 2004 and increased the city’s sales tax by one-tenth of 1 percent.
The contract stipulates the work must be completed by June 30, 2019, but Winn said work should begin within the next few weeks.
“It more than likely will be finished before June 30, but we wanted to give them plenty of time to do the project with great care rather than get it finished quickly,” she said.
Winn said access to a section of Garden Street from Vine Street could be blocked to vehicles during the restoration process.
According to the contract, Abstract Masonry will use specialty stripping solutions and pressurized steam/hot water to remove all old paint on exterior walls and the chimney. After the stripping process, the company will use specialty historic masonry cleaning solutions to further clean the masonry and neutralize the alkalinity in the masonry.
The company will next repair severe cracks in the building and create a custom formulated mortar that closely blends with the color, texture, strength and shape of the original mortar. It will also patch the concrete foundation where needed.
Part of the contract calls for the removal of four deteriorated precast concrete window sills on the north elevation of the building and replace them with new sills. After repairs have been completed, the building’s exterior will be painted with historic masonry paint.
The resolution passed on Sept. 5 indicates that the Carnegie Corporation of New York made a $5,000 grant in 1909 for construction of the Tooele Library that opened on May 10, 1911. From 1883 to 1929, businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie helped build more than 2,500 public libraries across the U.S.
The restoration process also is designed to help Tooele City preserve its history and heritage, according to the resolution.
“I am so excited to see this project take place,” Winn said. “This is something that the entire community will be proud of. Restoring this library to its original appearance will not only be pleasing to the eye, but also repairing the damage that time and weather have caused will enable the building to last many more years.”