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Saunders Sawyer Library  Gloucester, MA

Saunders House, a shining example of Georgian design in New England, houses a wing of the Sawyer Free Library in Gloucester. This home was built in 1764 for a distinguished merchant, and much of the lavish interior woodwork he commissioned still remains along with the beautiful central stair. The walls have been further embellished with a series of wall mural paintings by a pair of well-known Gloucester artists. 

In 2018, Spencer, Sullivan & Vogt conducted a study to assess the feasibility of revitalizing this wing of the library for community and assembly use while the library undertakes a major rehabilitation of its modern wing to the rear of Saunders House. Striving to reimagine the space without disrupting its historic charm, the firm employed both adaptive reuse and preservation strategies in developing a plan to convert spaces that had been offices to assembly space and convert the basement to a modern archival storage area. Additional work was undertaken to preserve the many charac-ter defining details on both the interior and exterior of the house, including mural restoration.

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