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Thomas Beaver Free Library

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1886, Charles Wetzel. 205 Ferry St.
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • (© George E. Thomas)

The son of a Perry County minister, Thomas Beaver, the library's benefactor, made his fortune as the owner of the Montour Iron Works and the Danville Stove and Manufacturing Company. The two-and-one-half-story library with an attached building (formerly a YMCA) was designed by Wetzel in a hybrid Second Empire and Queen Anne style. It is constructed of large blocks of gray sandstone and trimmed with pink granite, terra-cotta, and slate. The more elaborate library facade has a three-story central tower with a hipped roof ornamented with metal cresting and has two lofty corbeled chimneys. With Beaver's open purse, Wetzel spared no expense, lavishly decorating the library's interior with Minton tiles, carved oak paneling and beams, molded stucco ceilings, an octagonal stained glass skylight topping the book hall's coffered wooden ceiling, and a portrait of a Muse in stained glass on the stairwell. The understated former YMCA, now incorporated into the library, has terra-cotta decoration and Eastlake detailing on oak trim.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Thomas Beaver Free Library", [Danville, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 506-506.

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