h.h.-richardson

Winn Memorial (Woburn Public) Library

Built in 1877, this as the first of H.H. Richardson’s libraries. If you were following the 1937 book tours over on the original LJ, then you saw lots of these libraries (I’m going to repost everything over here on Tumblr eventually, so those of you who didn’t follow the LJ have that to look forward to). It feels sometimes like every library in New England looks like this. If you see if a building that looks like this, you know it’s a library. 

According to the 1937 book, this library is not the best example of Richardson’s skill. He “did not achieve in this plan the complete mastery of his profession he was soon to show; yet the boldness of planning to fit functional needs, the simplicity, the symmetrical design which maintained delicate balance, the vivid carving–al these notably displayed in the stark wing–atone for his failure to merge all the unites into one harmonious whole.” In 1937, the tower contained an “Antique Kitchen,” which doesn’t seem to have had anything to do with kitchens, since it contained “mineral and ornithological collections.” We have no idea if that’s still there, because we did this tour on a Sunday afternoon and the library was, alas, closed.