Tiffany Reading Room Restoration Project

The Tiffany Reading Room is located in the Town Hall.  The room is decorated with original Tiffany glass mosaic tiles and served as the Village's main reading and reference room for decades.  With the generous donations of many citizens and countless hours of donated time from a dedicated group of volunteers, the room is currently undergoing an historic restoration.

In 2004, the Board of Trustees of Irvington Public Library formed a committee to restore the reading room in Town Hall, one of the few remaining interiors by Louis Comfort Tiffany, the world-famous artist, decorator and glassmaker.

Louis Tiffany was the son of Tiffany & Co. founder Charles Lewis Tiffany, a long-time resident of both New York City and Irvington, who owned an estate on the site of the present Matthiessen Park. Charles Tiffany was trustee of the village Mental and Moral Improvement Society, which donated the property on which the Town Hall was built, with the provision that the building include a free reading room that would be open to the public in perpetuity.

Project Update (as of March 2012)
Restoration of the Tiffany Room has progressed rapidly since our last (June) update.  With the continuing support of the Village, Library Board and many individual donors, the Tiffany Room Committee has overseen the replacement of much of the lathing and plaster on the walls of the room, the installation of new security, sprinkler and lighting systems, and the restoration of the 4 original wall sconces.  The chandelier - new, but using original Tiffany glass from a long-dismantled (and never photographed) combination gas and electric fixture which clearly hung in the center of the ceiling - is near completion.  The room’s mosaics have been cleaned and secured, and several missing pieces have been replaced with pieces of Tiffany glass obtained from a Foundation which only releases its collection to organizations undertaking verifiable Tiffany restorations.  The woodwork in the room has been repaired as well, and restored to a warm luster.

As our project draws to a close, there are several items we will only be able to complete should additional funds become available.  These include the restoration and re-upholstery of the furniture, also original to the room, the repair of the workings of the mosaic clock, the restoration of faux-grain painting on the window sashes (only discovered when hardware was removed in advance of their restoration) and the addition of a rug and supplemental task lighting.  While the room can be re-opened for reading, administrative meetings and community gatherings without these items, we hope it will not be necessary to do so.

       Deborah Flock
       Christopher Mitchell
       Tiffany Room Committee