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The Carpenter Memorial Library Building Turns 100!

March 13th, 2013 · No Comments · 100th Anniversary, City Library, Events, Local History, Main Branch, News

Mayor Frederick Smyth felt very strongly about the importance of public education. In 1854, he worked with a local group of citizens to convert the private Manchester Athenaeum into the city’s public library. The City of Manchester has supported library services since then, and over the years built the first two buildings to serve the public as our young city grew. In 1910, once again the public library had outgrown the provided space on Franklin Street, and this time a benefactor came to the rescue. Frank P. Carpenter, a prominent businessman, believed that access to information was vital to Manchester’s future.
Upon the death of his wife, Eleanora Blood Carpenter, he approached the city with an offer—to build a new library building on Pine Street in memory of his wife. No expense was to be spared in the planning or building of the new library—the architects were from New York and Hawaii, the granite from the same quarry that produced stone to build the Library of Congress, and marble arrived from Vermont and Italy. The specifications for the building’s construction did not spare any details and is very extensive. The Carpenter Memorial Building is beautiful and has stood the test of time. It is an honor and a privilege to be able to come to work in this building every day. The architecture is inspiring. This building is a true gem and our city takes great pride in her. The ground breaking for the Carpenter Memorial Building took place in September of 1912, and the cornerstone was laid on June 11, 1913. As we march towards its “100th Birthday” celebration in 2014, we will be sharing interesting facts about its history. There will be historical photos of the construction displayed and specially-designed programs. We hope you’ll join us for the upcoming activities to mark this historic event for our library!

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