ROXBURY, NJ – The relocation, restoration and rotation of the gazebo in front of the Roxbury Public Library will begin in about two weeks and should be finished in time for this year’s Olde Suckasunny Day festival in September, said those involved with the project.
An update on the idea, first revealed in early 2016, was presented today to the Roxbury Mayor and Council by Roxbury Library Board of Trustees President Jen Wasek.
The goal of the project is to make the front of the library, on Main Street in Succasunna, a community gathering place where there will be musical performances, book readings and other events.
“It’s been … sort of a wish that we could turn into reality,” said Roxbury Councilman Bob DeFillippo at the meeting. “That’s moving the gazebo on the front lawn of the library closer to main street where it would be more visible and more useful. We would turn the gazebo and the lawn in front of the library into an event space where we could do programs for both adults and children ranging from readings to musical events.”
The gazebo, officially known as the Queen Anne Summer House, was built in 1978 by volunteers including Roxbury builder Dan Dyrness. As an Eagle Scout project, Dyrness’ son, Don, built the current pathway leading to the structure.
Don Dyrness, president of Main Street Custom Homes & Remodeling, attended the meeting to discuss the new project which he is managing.
“This is pretty simple,” he said. “What we’re going to do is make a new foundation pretty much where the existing free standing sign of the library is now. The gazebo is going to be rotated so the stairs that are facing the parking lot right now will face Main Street.”
Dyrness said the back of the gazebo will be open. An archway will be added and the site will have a small stage. New electricity, lighting and data connections will be provided, he said, noting the structure will be completely refurbished and repainted.
The gazebo contains pieces of Victorian "gingerbread" from a 19th century building - called the Queen Anne Cottage - that occupied the property and housed the library from 1961 to 1974.
The design work for the gazebo restoration and relocation was done by Ledgewood architect Kenneth Fox. Dyrness said local suppliers and contractors will be used for all aspects of the job.
Wasek vowed that the project “will get done” by Olde Suckasunny Day, an annual festival on Main Street scheduled for Sept. 9. “This has been in the works a while now,” she said. “I think it will help with the revitalization of Main Street. It’s going to be beautiful.”
Wasek said the library trustees are using money from a “special fund” earmarked for library projects. Much of the fund came from donations, the first being $500 given last year by the Roxbury Rotary Club.