About 10km downriver from Québec City, on the south bank of the St Lawrence, lies the village of Beaumont, whose presence is attested since the 17th century. Among the cluster of historical homes that surrounds the village church is a low stone building now used as the local library. It used to be the presbytery, built in 1721-22 and contemporary to the Beaumont church. In 1855, another house was built nearby for the village priest, and the former presbytery was transformed into a convent with the addition of a second floor. In 1904, the building was restored and there is mention of it then being used as a secondary school. A later transformation to the schoolhouse in 1945-46 is credited to local artisan Robert Lamontagne.
After a fire destroyed the school in 1979, a group of citizens organized to salvage the historical structure and tasked Lamontagne again to rebuild it as a single story house with traditional timber roof, as it once stood. After its reconstruction in 1982, the former presbytery briefly served as an art centre before welcoming the town library, which had been founded in 1978. At this occasion, the Beaumont library was renamed after ethnographer and folklorist Luc Lacourcière.
At the time of my visit in early April 2022, the library was temporarily closed while the municipal council was looking for a new librarian, a situation that has since been resolved. I am grateful to the employee who graciously opened the doors to the library for me that day!
This post is part of a series on adaptive reuse in libraries. See the list of such projects I am maintaining or view other posts in this series.
Library detail pages are primarily a place for me to collect information I gather on the libraries I visit, and are frequently updated. None of this should be considered authoritative, I am not an architect, nor a historian. If you notice something incorrect, please let me know!