Monday, April 3, 2017

A Jacobethan Style Carnegie

Collecting Carnegie Libraries
Hood River, Oregon

Oh, how I wish every community who built a Carnegie Library a hundred years ago, restored, conserved and expanded on its original intent:  To continue to provide books in order to enlighten and enrich the lives of their citizens.  The Hood River library is a prime example of What Should Have Been Done.  Bravo to this little community and all the fundraising events it took to get the original library built in 1914 and the subsequent expansion in 2002.  It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The brickwork, the steep roof gables and the stone trims around the windows and doors are hallmarks of the Jacobethan (or Tudor) style.  The modern interpretation complements the classic style perfectly.  This marriage exists inside as well.  The dark, wood-trimmed rooms of the original library contrast with the floor to ceiling windows that flood the reading room with sunlight.  Whereas, one invites the reader to wonder through its book-filled stacks, the other invites relaxation.  The view of the Columbia River Gorge is stunning.
I also love the outdoor patio rooms surrounding it.  I can't think of anything more wonderful than taking a book outside on a warm summer's day and reading the afternoon away.  This is a community library that truly serves its population.  This was Andrew Carnegie's intent and his legacy.  There aren't too many of these libraries left.

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