This page contains information about a Sunapee Old Town Hall-Library project that went before Sunapee voters in March 2010. The concept plan did not get voter approval. The town’s library trustees continue to explore the options for expanding or building a new library. Visit Abbott Library for more information including “New Library Space Coments.” The Harbor House Livery Committee, formerly the Old Town Hall committee appointed by the board of selectmen, continues to work on current and future needs of the historic livery building.


♦ On the 2010 Sunapee Town Warrant, there were two advisory articles (article 23 and article 25 by petition) related to the Old Town Hall-Library proposal. Town Meeting and Election Day was Tuesday, March 9. Download/view the 2010 Town Meeting/Election results via the town website.

Town Warrant Article 23: Do you favor expanding the previously approved library Harbor site to include the adjacent Old Town Hall property, renovating the Old Town Hall for a library while preserving the horse ramp and clock tower, reserving a portion of the building for other town uses, while continuing to seek private funding? This article is advisory only and is intended to provide the Library Trustees, the Old Town Hall Committee, and the Select Board with a sense of voter’ opinions. Yes 392 / No 479

Town Warrant Article 25: Are you in favor of instructing the Abbott Library Trustees to find another site(s) for a new town library to bring to the Voters for approval and to stop planning for a new library at the two present sites, the Old Harbor Hotel (current SAU site) and/or the Old Town Hall (58 Main Street)? By petition Yes 433 / No 413

♦ In response to an anonymous mailer that many Sunapee residents received in their mail box a week before voting day, the chairman of the Abbott Library Building Committee  issued a statement. Go to: https://sunapeenews.com/2010/03/04/sunapee-library-supporters-respond-to-anonymous-mailer/

♦ Below: Architectural rendering that was shown at the town’s deliberative session February 2, 2010. This view from across the Sugar River depicts the building as envisioned in the current concept plan.



By James Wassell, Rock Maple Studio, Sunapee: The Sunapee Old Town Hall-Library as envisioned in the current concept plan.


A new wing (to the right) would replace the old police department section. The plan is to rehabilitate the landmark building for library and community use while preserving many of its historic features including the Clock Tower and interior horse ramp. The Riverwalk would continue to run through the lower level, an area that would be available for non-library community use….perhaps for recreation, the Thrift Shop, and other uses allowed by the town. For copies of informational materials, email: OTHLibraryProject@gmail.com

Informational OTH-Library Flyer

For more information about the concept plan: Download the informational flyer OTH-Library Project Info (PDF 320 KB). It describes the plan and provides contacts for those that want more information and want to provide support. Supporters of the proposed civic project are asked to contact Barbara Sullivan, Sunapee, or email: OTHLibraryProject@gmail.com

Build for the Future: Architectural & Site Plan Renderings

Site plan by James Wassell, Sunapee, of the concept plan for re-use of the Old Town Hall for a new Sunapee library-community centerView/download: Build for the Future PDF 664 KB – This informational page includes a re-cap of the concept plan, two graphics, and a statement from State Architectural Historian James Garvin and John Walden, director of Abbott Library.

What’s different now?

OTH-Library Concept Plan: Building Section

This comparison details how the current concept plan responds to concerns expressed in 2002 over use of the Old Town Hall for a library. In a handy, side-by-side format, it addresses parking, layout, space, structural and other concerns. The informational page was prepared from material produced by the Abbott Library Building Committee. View/download: 2002 SGH Comparison (PDF 139 KB)

Abbott Library Building Committee PowerPoint Presentation is Available Here

The PP presentation has been shown and discussed at numerous public meetings this winter.  Presentations have been made at the town’s deliberative session; at meetings with the Selectboard, Recreation Committee, and Sunapee Seniors; and a Building Committee roundtable discussion on February 16. Compiled by Building Committee Chair Barbara Chalmers, it includes data and information from library resources  and studies and the Old Town Hall Committee. To download/view the PP presentation, (file size is 2.8MB), click on: PP Library-Old Town Hall Info

Roundtable Announcement and Concept Plan Architectural Renderings by Diana Piotrow, New London


State Architectural Historian James L. Garvin comments on Sunapee Old Town Hall-Library proposal:

The adaptive re-use of this landmark building would not only represent an inspired example of historic preservation, but would place the new library in the very heart of Sunapee Harbor, the town’s historic village center….

A building that is imbued with so much history, pride, and symbolic identity is a treasure such as few communities can boast of.  It would be fitting if this structure, so interwoven into Sunapee’s community fabric, could assume yet another life of service as the town’s meeting place and intellectual heart.

Read Jim Garvin’s remarks in full

Building Committee Roundtable Discussion Feb. 16th

The new Sunapee library-Old Town Hall concept plan and warrant article 23 was the subject of a roundtable discussion hosted by the Abbott Library Building Committee on February 16 at the Town Office meeting room at 7  p.m. Guest speaker Maggie Stier, the field service representative for the NH Preservation Alliance, presented information that can be viewed below.

For more information about the plan and Article 23: Download the informational flyer OTH-Library Project Info (PDF 320 KB).

View the PowerPoint presentation by Maggie Stier. NOTE the file size, 5.3 MB.  Sunapee Funding Talk (Feb. 16, 2010)


The Old Town Hall – S.A. French Livery Stable
By Ron Garceau, President, Sunapee, NH Historical Society

“This landmark building located between Main Street and the Sugar River was built in the late 1880s. An early photo shows a different looking building with a sign on it that says: M.F. Knowlton Livery and Feed Stable. Just beyond it in the photo is the Sunapee Harbor Hotel….” Read – download here: OTH History… (PDF – 451 KB)


See the Old Town Hall Committee website for more info and images.  http://www.sunapeeoldtownhall.org/

Find related Sunapee News articles:

Sunapee Discusses New Library

Sunapee Voters Will Consider New Idea for Old Town Hall

New Plans Emerge for Sunapee Old Town Hall

New Sunapee Library in Old Town Hall?


Abbott Library – Sunapee NH

Sunapee Old Town Hall – Sunapee NH

American Libraries Magazine

Friends of Abbott Library – Sunapee NH

Friends of Libraries USA

Gilmanton Library Year Round Library Association – An example of what’s happening in Gilmanton, NH

NH Library Association

NH Preservation Alliance

NH Division of Historic Resources


WebJunction – On-line services supporting library organizations

Sunapee News welcomes info and links related to libraries, historic preservation and the re-use of historic town buildings for community benefit.

2 Responses

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s