Redwood History: Redwood Red, 1750

December 3, 2015, 1:05 pm

In 1997, to mark our 250th anniversary, the Redwood Library underwent a decade of change during which the building was renovated and restored to its former glory. One such aspect of this restoration focused on the cleaning and repainting of the exterior of the library. When it came time to remove the old paint, 40 layers were scraped off by hand to ensure the safety of the original clapboard underneath. A sample was taken of what was believed to be the first coat of paint, and sent off for analysis. It was dated to the same time as the opening of the library, and was replicated to be used on the restoration.  Today, the color that adorns the outside of the Redwood Library is the original red paint of the building from 1750.  When approaching the Redwood Library, the exterior appears to be made of cut stone. However, this is just an illusion achieved by roughing the edges of wooden blocks – a process called rustication.  It may be speculated that this muted red was chosen to further replicate the appearance of cut stone instead of wood. If you haven’t been to the Redwood, or if you pass by it every day and have never been inside, we welcome you to come in and explore.

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