The Boston Athenaeum to Reopen Today After Flooding

-By Dan Murphy

The Boston Athenaeum at 10½ Beacon St.

The Boston Athenaeum is scheduled to reopen today after the private library fell prey to flooding last week.

On Jan. 24 at about 3 p.m., the library experienced a water leak on the first floor, damaging several paintings, a few pieces of wooden furniture and five large Oriental rugs. Water also seeped through the floor to the book stacks below, soaking around 1,000 volumes. A portion of the card catalog also got wet. Many of the damaged items were transported offsite for conservation treatment.

“After evaluating the damages to our collections, we are happy to report that none of the Atheneaum’s paintings, sculptures, works on paper, or rare books were damaged nor were its exhibition spaces threatened,” Athenaeum director Paula D. Matthews said. “Given the volume of water in building, damage to the collections has
been minimal so far.”

A burst iron sprinkler pipe was determined to be the cause of the flooding, although the cost of the damages has yet to be determined, Matthews said.

To donate to the Boston Athenaeum’s recovery efforts, contact Paula D. Matthews at 617-720-7661.

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