LIBRARY RECEIVES FOUNDATION GRANT
October 12, 2012 – A significant grant to the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library will continue the long-cherished dream of Grace Dow, wife of The Dow Chemical Company founder Herbert H. Dow.
The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation has awarded a $3 Million grant to the library for needed enhancements and improvements to the 57-year-old building. The grant celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Foundation and reaffirms Mrs. Dow’s commitment for a vibrant public library.
In 1950, Mrs. Dow announced that The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation would fund a new library. The library was built on the site of the Dow apple orchard and opened on January 24, 1955. In recognition of her leadership in the building project and her 42 years of service on the Library Board, City Council passed a resolution to name the new building the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library.
Margaret Ann “Ranny” Riecker, president of The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, spoke about the significance of this grant. “My grandmother, Grace A. Dow, was devoted to providing the Midland community with a library that is a source of pride but, even more so, a place of learning and enjoyment. Selecting the library to receive this grant continues the tradition embraced by Grace Dow and will help ensure the library’s relevancy for years to come.”
The improvements to the library will strengthen its role as a meeting place in our community, accommodating study and community groups, tutors and students, and others.
Funds will be used to make interior and infrastructure improvements to the library. An energy-efficient heating and cooling system will replace an aging system. Interior improvements will include new carpeting, furniture, and updated handicap accessible restrooms for the library’s Auditorium and the Lounge. A patron self check out system will be also implemented in the redesigned lobby.
The remodeled interior design of the library will reflect the original colors introduced by architect Alden B. Dow, son of Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow, when the current structure was built in 1954. The project will begin in early 2013 and continue in phases throughout the year.
“Words cannot express my appreciation for the generosity of The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation,” said Library Director Melissa Barnard. “This gift will enable us to move forward to meet the ever changing needs of our community. On behalf of the City of Midland and the community, we thank the Foundation for their support and vision in recognizing the value of the library today and into the future.”
Since 1938, The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation has funded special library projects and building additions totaling over $9.1 million, which includes this most recent grant.