Sunday, April 25, 2010

south hadley

The South Hadley Public Library was built in 1906 with a $10,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie. Located in the southern part of town knows at the Falls, the original building was designed by a local resident who worked for Putnam & Cox. The building is a typical Carnegie library T-shaped design, which is normally: a central entry hall and two wings (which make up the cross portion of the T), and a stack wing poking out the back (the vertical bit or tail of the T). But due to the very narrow, tapering shape of the site, the T-shape was turned around, and symmetrical entries were located at the inside corners, at the joints in the T-shape. This means the tail of the T faces forward, and instead of housing the stacks, this is the front, with a large bay window, opening onto the reading room.

In the 70s, a large addition was put on, but due to local budget constraints, was not sized to meet the 20 year need--as is the norm with pubic library design--but cut in half to meet the 10 year need. The library is extremely busy and well used by the residents. South Hadley is right across the Connecticut River from Holyoke, and as a suburb, has a large population. South Hadley is also home to Mount Holyoke College, which may help to explain the large computer use in the library.

My office was just selected to assist the library with a feasibility study and an application to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Construction Grant program.

There is another public library in town, the Gaylord Memorial Library, located in the north part of town, across the street from Mount Holyoke. The Gaylord Library actually predates the Carnegie Library, and is (I think) privately held by a corporation, and open to the public.

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