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Burrage Library

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1889–1890, Arthur Bates Jennings; 1992–1993 remodeled and addition, WBTL Architects. 333 S. Main St.
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)
  • (Photograph by Kathryn Bishop Eckert)
  • (Photograph by Kathryn Bishop Eckert)
  • (Photograph by Kathryn Bishop Eckert)

Promoted by Joseph L. Daniels, librarian of Olivet College, and funded with gifts from Leonard Burrage and Lucy E. Tuttle, the Burrage Library was designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style by Arthur Bates Jennings. He was an eastern architect noted for his church designs, and his work at the Burrage Library testifies to the Richardsonian presence in the Midwest. The library is a solid and substantial building of rock-faced, mottled grayish-red and yellowish-brown Ionia sandstone on a granite foundation. In typical Richardsonian manner, it is also a massive asymmetrical building with two octagonal towers, the tallest of which is eighty-five feet. Clearly apparent from the exterior are the reading room with its many windows and the stacks with fewer windows. Critics admired the fireproof building for its economy, convenience, and utility, and its well-furnished and well-lighted interior. The addition doubled the library's book storage capacity and tripled its size, but reoriented the main entrance to the south while closing off the historic entrance.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Burrage Library", [Olivet, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 302-302.

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