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East Greenwich Free Library

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1914–1915, Angell & Swift. 82 Peirce St.

The churchly look of this rock-faced granite library building in nominal Neo-Gothic probably shows the influences of nearby St. Luke's (see next entry), to which it nicely relates. Its conservatism also appears in its general recall of the tradition of rock-faced granite libraries H. H. Richardson had established forty years earlier, even though their stylistic precedent was Romanesque. Originally this library hearkened back further, to mid-nineteenth-century panoptic plans, which the architects could have known from the organization of the Brown University Library. Such plans placed the librarian's desk at the center of the space with book stacks radiating out from it, in this case housed within a stubby semi-octagonal wing to the rear. Recent renovations have eliminated that organization by moving the desk to one side near the front door.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "East Greenwich Free Library", [East Greenwich, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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