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Facade Renewed For Historic Lorain Branch Of The Cleveland Public Library

The first winter storm of the season is not stalling the planned restoration of a Cleveland architectural gem.

A team from Karcher—a German company and a leader in cleaning technology—got started as planned this week on steam cleaning the Carnegie Lorain Branch of the Cleveland Public Library.

Only six of the original 15 Carnegie-funded libraries remain in Cleveland. Funded with a gift of $250,000 and designed by Cleveland architectural firm Knox & Elliot, the library opened on March 28, 1912. The 8,400-square-foot, "Greek temple-inspired" building was constructed with three different types of stone material—all with different cleaning requirements.

The “very sensitive methods” using steam at between seven and 10 psi of pressure is environmentally friendly as well as building friendly, Karcher’s Nick Heyden explained.

It’s a method that will help make sure the building will stand for another 100 years, said Tim Diamond, Chief Knowledge Officer for the Cleveland Public Library.

“Cleveland is a harsh place, you know, and the buildings suffer a lot, environmentally,” Diamond said. “And so with this cleaning, it’s a way to bring it back to its original glory without anything that’s too intrusive.”