Library gets an offer for Swan building

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 November 2014 at 12:00 am

File photo by Tom Rivers – For 112 years, this building at the corner of Main and State streets was home to Swan Library. It was vacated in June 2012 when the library moved to the new Hoag Library. It could be sold by the end of the year.

ALBION – A local businessman has submitted an offer to buy the former Swan Library on Main Street. The building has been vacant since June 2012, when Albion’s public library moved to the new Hoag Library.

The Swan Library Association owns the building and has been looking for a new owner. The library has been spending $25,000 to $28,000 annually for maintenance, insurance and other costs for the former library, which was originally a mansion constructed in 1851.

It was donated by the Swan family as a public library, which opened in 1900. The site became too cramped for a modern library and patrons complained there were only a few parking spaces. It is air-conditioned and has an elevator.

Library President Kevin Doherty didn’t disclose who made the offer and what the intended use is for the building. He said the library will be working with Holley attorney Doug Heath on the real estate transaction. Doherty said a local businessman made a cash offer.

“Folks we’re not going to get $500,000 for the building over there,” Doherty said at tonight’s library trustee meeting.

The deal was facilitated by Grace Kent and Linda Smith, Doherty said.

The library will reach out to County Historian Bill Lattin for advice about preserving artifacts inside the building, which is included on the National Register of Historic Places.

The former library was eyed as a local history museum, but that project didn’t come to fruition.