A century after The Urbana Free Library was built, the building’s iconic front porch along Race Street remains closed due to concerns it could collapse.
Now The Urbana Free Library Foundation, as part of its annual fund drive, is asking Library supporters to contribute toward replacement of the north and south porch floors. This will be an expensive job, which the Library wants to do right to preserve the porch well into the future. Initial estimates place the potential cost at $100,000.
The Library has hired a structural engineer, who determined that the porch floors need complete replacement, said Celeste Choate, the Library’s Executive Director. “The rebar inside the concrete is falling apart due to the freeze-and-thaw cycle,” said Choate. “It’s 100 years old.”