You are here

Maclure Library

-A A +A
1895, Chappell and Smith. 840 Arch St., Pittsford village

The Maclure Library, descended from the oldest subscription library association in the state (1796), is housed in a building that resulted from two important Vermont initiatives. The first was legislation in 1894 that offered state support to encourage towns to assume responsibility for their libraries. The second was the Sons of Vermont movement, which stimulated gifts from former Vermonters for their communities of origin. Pittsford took responsibility for its library in 1894. The following year Henry F. Walker of New York City donated a new building in honor of his brother Stephen and commissioned New York City architects Chappell and Smith, who subsequently designed the Vergennes City Hall (1897). George S. Chappell's Colonial Architecture in Vermont (1918) featured buildings from Vergennes, Windsor, Middlebury, Rutland, and Castleton.

Along with other first-generation town libraries in the state (Hardwick, Danville, and Bradford), Pittsford's reflects the impact of H. H. Richardson's Billings Library at the University of Vermont (CH19.2). Most obviously Richardsonian are the round-arched entrance, the stair tower that provides a visual accent, and the windows that reveal interior functions through their scale and placement. At the same time, crispness replaces exuberance and there is an indication of a Beaux-Arts move toward more classical formality. The plan is essentially symmetrical, a T with reading rooms and vestibule across the front and a beam-ceilinged stack room centered at the rear. The fine masonry combines a rock-faced marble basement, carefully set with red mortar to coordinate with the red slate of the hipped roofs, and rust-colored Roman brick enlivened with molded window surrounds, a terra-cotta sill-level meander frieze, and a molded dentil course below the eaves.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson
×

Data

What's Nearby

Citation

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "Maclure Library", [Pittsford, Vermont], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/VT-01-RU12.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Vermont

Buildings of Vermont, Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 67-68.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.

, ,