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Washburn Free Public Library

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1904, Henry Wildhagen. 307 Washington Ave.
  • (Kristin Anderson)
  • (Kristin Anderson)
  • (Kristin Anderson)
  • (Kristin Anderson)
  • (Kristin Anderson)
  • (Kristin Anderson)
  • (Kristin Anderson)

Constructed of locally quarried rock-faced brownstone, this single-story library is on a raised foundation that allows for a basement meeting room. The projecting portico features tall Ionic columns in antis, supporting a carved frieze. A pediment completes the vaguely classical composition. The interior is typical of small-town libraries built throughout the nation with funds from Andrew Carnegie. On the main floor, a vestibule leads into a lobby framed by wide arches, which open onto adult and children’s reading rooms (in the wings) and a stack room behind the central circulation desk. The oak furnishings, metal stacks, and original brass lamps are still in place. A small brick fireplace in each of the reading rooms creates a homey atmosphere. One of Wildhagen’s pen-and-ink drawings of the building is displayed inside.

Writing Credits

Marsha Weisiger et al.


What's Nearby


Marsha Weisiger et al., "Washburn Free Public Library", [Washburn, Wisconsin], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Wisconsin

Buildings of Wisconsin, Marsha Weisiger and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017, 298-299.

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