A Minnesota architect designed this library, which the community built with funds from the Carnegie Foundation. It is one of many Beaux-Arts classical libraries erected in the early twentieth century. But while the style was part of a national trend, the materials used to construct this one-story building expressed local sensibilities. Chequamegon brownstone quarried on Lake Superior’s Apostle Islands trims the orange brick walls. The building’s focal point is an impressive portico formed by four smooth granite columns with brownstone Ionic capitals and a pediment. Within the portico, a massive brownstone lintel and a small pediment crown the entrance. Inside, the library remains much as it was when it opened. The reading room dominates the upper level with its massive, octagonal wooden circulation desk. On the green tile fireplace, Ionic columns and a serpentine mantel are especially lovely.
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Cumberland Public Library
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