Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / Buildings / Downtown

501 S. Superior, Public Library, 1919

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Historic Designation +
Albion Area Historical Architectural Survey, 1985
National Register Listed, August 18, 1997

One-story brick building plus raised basement, capped by a low-pitched hipped roof with broad projecting eaves and exposed rafter ends. The library has a symmetrical facade with a central entrance capped by a fanlight. The entrance is flanked on either side by three broad square-head double windows with transoms. The flanking windows of these bands are shorter, with the lower section marked by raised brick rectangles with limestone corner blocks. Stone insets with raised Arts-and Crafts lantern designs are found below the eaves at the facade corners. Windows are placed directly below the eaves and within shallow wall recesses. All of the windows are set on stone sills. The entrance is reached by stone steps flanked by brick piers. The double entry doors (modern) are capped by a fanlight with a tracery pattern and are flanked by globe lanterns. Above this is a stone panel spelling out “Public Library.” A 1975 addition on the east rear side of the building blends well in size, design, and materials with the original, and doubles the buildings size.

Albion’s Public Library opened on May 13, 1919, and was erected by the Schumacher Cosntruction Company at a cost of $17,500. Funding came from a gift of the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

This 1918 photo shows the Richard Walsh blacksmith shop at 100 E. Ash St., and the Geroge F. Barry tombstone monument works at 505 S. Superior St., which once stood on the site where the Albion Public Library now stands. These structures were demolished shortly after this photo was taken.

Source: National Park Service; Superior Street Commercial Historic District Registration Form. Prepared by Lloyd Baldwin. October 1996.

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