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South End Branch Library

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1967–1971, Mitchell, Giurgola Associates. 685 Tremont St. between Rutland Sq. and W. Newton St.
  • South End Branch Library (Keith Morgan)

Much altered from its original configuration, especially in the relationship of the open space to the mass of the building, the one-story brick library has a community meeting space above. The play of light is most marked in the use of clerestories and skylights, as well as in the large window of the meeting room, which faces the enclosed garden. Hinged panels within permit the adjustment of light in the reading area and in the surrounding stacks. Echoes of Louis Kahn's Phillips Exeter Academy Library (1965–1972) are hardly surprising given the date. Oaks and pines envelop the green enclave fronting the library's entrance; brick and granite seating arranged in angular geometric patterns are both practical and aesthetically pleasing in a perfect forecourt to the library. Beyond the park extends Rutland Square, a narrow but handsome residential complex developed in the 1860s.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "South End Branch Library", [Boston, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 138-139.

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