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402 East Main Street History

The Palmyra Community Library, 402 E. Main Street, Palmyra, NY has been serving the Palmyra community for well over a century, first as a reading room and then chartered in 1906. Since the early part of the 20th century, the library has been a repository for local history items, maps, scrapbooks, genealogical files, photographs, newspapers, indexes, local and regional history books and other holdings of a local and regional interest. The library has a local history room dedicated to these holdings.


402 East Main Street was built in 1907 and originally served as the offices of the Garlock Packing Company. The Palmyra Community Library purchased the office building from another company in 2007.

Beginning in 2008, Library officials worked with the design team at Bero Architecture, PLLC to carry out this important project. The first floor space had been partitioned into multiple rooms. As part of the rehab, the first floor was returned to a single, large open space. Drop ceilings were removed to reveal the full height of the room.

Historic details–wood floors, staircase, and moldings–were retained and touched up and new electric and heating/cooling systems were sensitively incorporated, making the current library space warm, inviting, and full of character. With a number of large window openings, the room also features loads of natural light (even on a rainy and dreary day when I visited).

The second floor, which can be accessed via the main staircase or a newly installed elevator, was also rehabbed and converted to library offices and a children’s room. The third floor was brought  back to life as a beautiful art gallery and large meeting room.


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