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George Hail Free Library

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1888–1889, William R. Walker and Son. 1980, 1994, interior restoration, Lombard Pozzi; Nolan Lushington, consultant. 530 South Main St. (at Coade St.)
  • George Hail Free Library (John M. Miller)

This rough-faced masonry building in a pinched version of Richardsonian Romanesque locks a towered entrance into the fold of a gabled L-shaped mass. Apart from its civic gesture at the center of the town, its principal interest is its interior. There cherry woodwork grained to resemble mahoghany, brass gaslighting fixtures, dull green and tan walls, fireplaces, and leaded windows patterned with stained glass, together with some of the original furniture, preserve a sense of the original setting. A wide-arched opening beside the circulation desk gives entrance to a gabled rear wing for stacks with exposed wooden trussing. A small collection of paintings and stuffed animal specimens from the locale, which have also long adorned its reading rooms, make token acknowledgment of the auxiliary roles of the nineteenth-century small-town library of the period as natural history museum and art gallery.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


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

Print Source

Buildings of Rhode Island, William H. Jordy, with Ronald J. Onorato and William McKenzie Woodward. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 459-459.

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