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Jackson District Library (Jackson Public Library)

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Jackson Public Library
1903–1906, Ferry and Clas; 1981 addition. 244 W. Michigan Ave.

Ferry and Clas, creators of the grand, classical Milwaukee Public Library and Museum (1895–1899), won the design competition for the Jackson Public Library, and Andrew Carnegie funded its construction. The result is one of Michigan's most impressive Beaux-Arts classical libraries. A broad central staircase leads to an elaborate front entrance in the slightly recessed center of the symmetrical limestone facade. Six engaged Ionic columns, the central pair coupled, screen the recess and support the modillioned cornice that encircles the library's front and sides. The entrance, with its console-supported crown, opens into a central lobby finished with a terrazzo floor inlaid with a grapevine border. Marble wainscoting defines the space and the open staircase has marble treads. In the main reading room is a glazed brick fireplace with a Georgian-inspired, pedimented mantelpiece; a metal staircase leads to the mezzanine stacks. A circular addition at the rear provides space for an elevator, lobby, and history and storytelling rooms.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Jackson District Library (Jackson Public Library)", [Jackson, 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, 179-179.

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