Sunday, June 5, 2011

burnham library marker

The public library in Essex, Massachusetts is named after their local son: Thomas Oliver Hazard Perry Burnham. Who, according to the town's website, was born in Essex in 1814, and during the mid 1800's became a successful and affluent used bookseller & publisher in Boston. In his will he bequeathed $20,000.00 for the building of a town hall and library in Essex. The design, by Frank W. Weston, of Malden, Massachusetts was selected over two others in a blind competition and is representative of the Shingle Style architecture.

The building was apparently describe in the March 1894 issue of The Library Journal:

The interior is finished in antique oak, and the walls are painted in hues of brown and yellow. In the upper story is situated the town-hall proper. It has a seating capacity for 550. There is a stage and a gallery which will allow of entertainments being given there. One-half of the lower floor is devoted to the library, and will accommodate several thousand books.

I've been by the building a number of times; its got a great site looking out over the Essex River flats, and hasn't been messed up yet with any major additions or renovations, altho it is still home to both the town hall and library for this growing New England town.

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