Public Libraries of Michigan
Highland Park (McGregor Public Library)
On my previous site, when I wrote the original comments on Highland Park, I was looking at a shuttered building on a Flickr page. What I didn't know at the time was that a renaissance was planned, to culminate in McGregor Public Library's reopening in 2009.
It's 2017, and the poor building is still in limbo. Outrage abounds, but no progress has been made.
Hillsdale (Mitchell Library)
Replaced in 2003 by the Hillsdale Community Library.
What a festive place!
(L) Weixelbaum card, showing very early automobiles and somewhat modern bicycles.
(R) C.U. Williams 'Photoette' card.
The building still serves library functions of a sort. As the Mitchell Research Center, it houses a collection of Michigan books.
(R) Monochrome postcard mailed in 1911.
Holland (Herrick Public Library)
Dedicated in 1960. Still in use, but with massive additions.
Postcard by Dardon Cards, which provided me with the sole date I have found.
Ithaca (Thompson Memorial Library)
History from the Thompson Home Public Library.
Private home, built ca. 1890, willed by the family in 1930 for conversion into a library.
Demolished in 1974, per the Library's web page, despite some hefty arguments for preservation.
(L) The photo card probably dates to shortly after the house conversion, as it is tagged, 'Thompson Memorial Library.'
(R) 'Silvercraft' brand Dexter Press postcard gives the library conversion date as 1931.
Quite definitively Romanesque. Patton & Fisher were the architects of the 1893 building.
Hugh C. Leighton tinted postcard.
Curt Teich linen finish postcard also shows a sprightly Deco showcase.
Mailed in 1942
Replacement building opened in 1959. In turn, this was replaced in 1998.
Sic transit gloria mundi.
Originally the town's Chamber of Commerce building, the fieldstone building is still in use as the town, nay, the County library. It looks like the wooden building at left was demolished for a large wing, and that the old entrance was filled in.
The way the caption was printed leads me to believe the photograph is by the studio of A.J. Kingsbury of Antigo, Wisconsin.
Lansing (Capital Area Public Library)
It looks like the front of this building had been tatted.
Merged with other Ingham County libraries in 1998 to form the Capital Area District Library.
See the Carnegie page for the original Lansing Carnegie building.
Marcellus (Wood Memorial Library)
Like many Michigan libraries, Marcellus's history began with a Ladies' Library. However, a rather well-heeled WWI soldier left the funds to build this building, after dying in the 1918 influenza outbreak.
Since 1924, there have been two additions built.
Photo postcard, source unknown.
Surprisingly, designed by architect Frederick Spier, in 1913. Replaced in 1998: I suspect this may have been demolished.
RPPC card featuring a Prairie/Federal hybrid building.
Marquette (Peter White Public Library)
(L) Absolutely spectacular interior view of Marquette's library on a Hugh C. Leighton card printed in Germany, and mailed in 1910. Among the magazines in the rack are Collier's, Leslie's, and the Saturday Evening Post.
The room's border is stencilled, the furniture is oak (You can see the quarter-sawn graining on the table legs!), and there are light fixtures galore. A rather odd mantel surrounds a fireplace, all set for a cheery fire.
Built, 1904. Renovated, 2000. Still in use.
Early E.C. Kropp card.
Menominee (Spies Public Library)
Still in use.
(L) C.T. American Art Card published by V.J. Lundgren, Menominee, Mich.
(R) Rotograph postcard, never mailed.
Midland (The Grace A. Dow Memorial Library)
A family affair, from its 1899 founding, to its home in a Carnegie building, to this 1955 building, the Dow (chemical) family made its hometown library its philanthropic mission. Amazingly, this structure's architect was Alden B. Dow!
It has undergone renovation in 1985, 1994, and 2014.
This Dexter Press postcard was likely produced around the Library's opening date.
Muskegon (Hackley Library)
I have to quote Michiganography, 7 May 2015, in several places:
Regarding Charles Henry Hackley's motives:
Mr. Hackley was not a drinker. He was not a church man. He wanted there to be some place for working people to go in Muskegon that wasn't either a church, a brothel, or a saloon.
--Martha Ferriby, Library Director
Regarding the Library's construction, directly quoted from the Michiganography page:
...the town also frequently caught fire, as did most of the rest of Michigan due to reckless logging practices. So not only did Hackley want the library to be a place where working people could be safe from sin (and salvation), he wanted it to be a place that was safe from fire. The library's stone walls, metal staircases, slate roof, and double steel I-beams created a fortress that kept its books safe. But, according to Ferriby, just as important to Hackley was that the building be a place where "people could take refuge" in case their town caught fire.
Since 1924, there have been two additions built, hopefully to Hackley's exacting standards as interpreted by architects Patton & Fisher.