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Paris Public Library

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1931, J. L. Wees. 326 S. Main St.

A site was reserved in the 1914 city plan by W. H. Dunn for a future library. The building was financed by local businessman J. J. Culbertson. Wees, who served as a Paris alderman when the city plan was undertaken, completed Dunn’s vision in 1931 with this new public library. His spare simple design for the one-story buff brick building is highlighted by an entrance pavilion executed in limestone with a recessed portal, flanked by a pair of German Art Nouveau–influenced, stylized Ionic pilasters. With this unusual feature Wees returned to more standard classical fare on the remainder of the building, with arched window frames, stringcourses, and cornice.

Across the street from the library is the Bywaters Park Peristyle, an open-air, C-shaped colonnade used by the Paris Municipal Band for summer performances. Commissioned by J. J. Culbertson and completed by J. L Wees in 1932 (2011 restored, Denney Architects), this is the most purely classical of Wees’s work in the city.

Nearby at 528 S. Main is Culbertson’s house (1921). Although Culbertson was a client of Wees for other Paris projects, he turned to Tulsa architect A. J. Knapp to design this flat-roofed residence demonstrating Prairie Style influences. A swimming pool is located in the house’s basement.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Paris Public Library", [Paris, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 134-134.

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