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Restore Willard 

Restore Willard Fundraising Campaign

Welcome to the "Restore Willard" capital fundraising campaign for the Willard Public Library! As a cherished community landmark and National Register of Historic Places designation, the Willard Public Library has been a cornerstone of knowledge, culture, and heritage for generations. Our mission is to restore and preserve this historic treasure so that it continues to serve our community with pride and distinction. With your generous support, we can undertake critical repairs and restorations to ensure the library remains a vibrant and welcoming place for all.

History of the Willard Library 

Willard Library opened in 1885 - short and sweet story. Willard loved Evansville and humanitarian efforts.

Willard Library opened its doors in 1885 as a physical representation and tribute from Willard Carpenter to the city he helped form, Evansville, IN. Willard Carpenter played a pivotal role in the early development of Evansville post-Civil War. Many services and businesses in Evansville thrived due to Carpenter's involvement in real estate and his construction of the first railroad. Carpenter was not just a businessman; he was also a proud abolitionist who used his home to harbor slaves on the Underground Railroad. His philanthropic efforts continued when he envisioned a public library for anyone who wished to use it and broke ground for Willard Library in 1877. Although Willard's testament to Evansville took nearly a decade to complete, he never saw the library's completion, as he passed away in 1883 at 80 years old. Today, the Board of Trustees and staff at Willard Public Library carry on Carpenter's dream. The building is Indiana's oldest public library still operating in its original structure and is a Nationally Registered Historic Building.

List of Needed Repairs 
  • Repair the Slate Roof: Restore the library's iconic slate roof to ensure structural integrity and protect the building from the elements.
  • Improve Water Diversion: Upgrade our drainage systems to prevent water damage and preserve the building's foundation and interior.
  • Reinforce the Stairwell: Strengthen and secure our historic stairwell to enhance safety and maintain its architectural beauty.
  • Tuckpoint and Mortar Repairs: Perform essential tuckpointing and mortar repairs to preserve the library's brickwork and historic facade.
  • Upgrade Electrical and Mechanical Systems: Modernize our electrical and mechanical systems to improve energy efficiency and ensure the library meets current safety standards.
Ways to Help 
  1. One-Time Donation: Make a tax-deductible donation to the Willard Library Foundation. Every contribution, no matter the size, helps preserve our historic library.
  2. Sponsorship: Partner with us as a corporate sponsor to demonstrate your commitment to preserving local heritage and supporting community enrichment.
  3. Recurring Donations: You can sign up for a recurring donation to support the library's restoration and maintenance.  A small group of donors willing to commit just $5, $7, $10, or more could help secure the Willard Library for generations.  Many Hands Make Light Work
  4. Estate Planning: Include the Willard Public Library in your estate planning to leave a lasting legacy and ensure the library's future for generations to come.
  5. Spread the Word: Help us raise awareness by sharing our campaign with your friends, family, and networks on social media and in your community.