Johann Fust Library Foundation Hurricane Update
For more than 70 years, Boca Grande’s Johann Fust Library has been a coral-pink-colored sentinel, providing a place of respite and literary enrichment for the community, and it will continue to do so! Fortunately, Hurricane Ian was no match for this steadfast grande dame!
Since 1950, the library has survived and flourished, even after experiencing over 50 major hurricanes and storms coming within 150 miles of Boca Grande; a testament to its solid construction and craftsmanship. We have much work to do, but the Johann Fust Library Foundation and Board of Directors feel extremely lucky to be able to pick up the Hurricane Ian “pieces” and dutifully continue their mission “to maintain and preserve the buildings and gardens of the library while providing a literary and cultural center for the residents and visitors of Boca Grande.”
Due to the financial support of its generous donors, the library has continuously been on a regular preventative maintenance schedule. The library and grounds fared well compared to many other homes and buildings in our local and neighboring communities.
“The good news for all of us is that our beautiful library building remains intact,” said JF Library Foundation President Jacque Hoyt regarding the effects of Hurricane Ian on the Library.
There was minimal damage to the stacks room (slight water penetration around the window seals) and no damage to the interior of the children’s library – they stayed mostly dry and relatively unaffected. The Stratton Room had a small amount of water that came in through the chimney. It was quickly dried and did no damage to shelves, furnishings, or books. The second-floor foundation office space was not severely affected by the storm, owing much to the recently applied elastomeric coating to the 72-year-old Bermuda-style roof.
Unfortunately, the Media Library roof has been badly damaged and will have to be replaced. Due to the solid wood construction of the ceiling, no water entered the room, and the computers and media were not damaged. Heavy winds extensively damaged the garden – many trees and newly planted shrubs were lost. We will nurture those that can be saved and replant where necessary. Our garden statuary, including our beautiful “Wildflower,” was safely harbored in the Children’s Library while Ian raged. She and all other garden statues are undamaged. In addition, our Cost Cottage, which is next door to the library and recently renovated, suffered roof damage. This resulted in the loss of two ceilings and damage to a third. Much work is needed before it will again be inhabitable.
Ball Construction, who oversaw the major library renovation in 2013 and the newly constructed elevator, will handle all storm repairs.
While repairing hurricane damage to their own homes, the Foundation team and its dedicated team of service providers have come together to begin the remediation process. Programs planned for the months of November and December have been canceled and hopefully will be rescheduled.
As soon as repairs and remediation have been completed, the JF Library Foundation and Lee County Library Services will reopen the library, loggia, gardens, media room, and children’s library for all to enjoy again. At this time, there is no set reopening date, and it is recommended that patrons visit leegov.com/library for local branch updates.
For additional information about the Johann Fust Library Foundation’s future programs and how to donate to the Foundation, please visit JFLFBG.org/support-us/donate-online or call (941) 964-0211.
The mission of the Johann Fust Library Foundation is to maintain and preserve the buildings and gardens of the library while providing a literary and cultural center for the residents and visitors of Boca Grande.
Visit Our Beautiful Facility
If you have not visited our beautiful facility, you must definitely find the time to do so when we re-open. This historic architectural masterpiece was built in 1950 and renovated in 2013. Seibert Architects received an award from the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects. The architectural features of the building are many, but perhaps the most exciting is the original Bermuda roof. The design of the roof feeds rainwater to the cistern, which waters the gardens.
Massive cypress doors and original exposed cypress beams are awe-inspiring reminders of the passion and attention to detail that the founders brought to their project seventy years ago. Visitors wander through the garden and courtyard as they explore the excellent library services Lee County offers. The loggia offers a shady outdoor respite from the midday sun.