Claire's Courtyard: a new addition to Topeka Shawnee Library

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- A local man wanted to pay tribute to his wife by giving back to the community.

(WIBW/Danielle Martin)

"Claire was always shy about these things," Dr. Glenn Swogger Jr., M.D. said. "She would help you in an instance if it was person to person, but the idea of constructing something to do something else, that did not ring to her until she saw it and did it."

Claire Swogger was a Topeka artist who won National awards and was well known for being a helping hand.

"When she saw somebody that needed help, she would be the first to do it," Dr. Swogger said.

"I've got to know Claire for a couple of years before she passed away and if it was something that Glenn enjoyed than she would enjoy it as well, but she also loved her library as much as he did," Executive Director of The Library Foundation, Nancy Lindberg said.

After Claire passed two years ago, Dr. Swogger wanted to honor his late wife by giving the community an addition to their library, naming it Claire's Courtyard.

Dr. Swogger says it's a place where people can come to meet other people, "who have similar interests and get in touch with the world. The courtyard is very valuable that way."

"I think people realize what kind of an addition this is, not only for our library, but to the community," said Lindberg. "We're going to have all kinds of programming, besides people being able just to come out, there will be more to do here."

The community had the opportunity to be apart of Claire's Courtyard by purchasing an engraved brick stone to honor their loved ones.

"There were many community members, especially people that had never supported the library before, but they wanted their mark on Claire's Courtyard," Lindberg explains.

"Who wouldn't love sitting out here in fresh air, with a book, and a cup of coffee or a soda?" donor, Gwen Stanley said. "This is just like sitting in your backyard, but you don't have to go anywhere. You just come get your book and it has everything."

Dr. Swogger donated 1.3 million dollars to the project, to honor his late wife. Claire's courtyard will be open during regular library hours.