Thursday, April 3, 2014
[LIB10988] In 1870, General Sylvanus Thayer made a proposition to the Town of Braintree for the construction of a fireproof building to be used as the public library. He asked the town to contribute $10,000, the remainder to be given by him. General Thayer died before plans could be worked out, but the executors of his will carried out the General’s wishes. $20,000 was used for the erection of the building, and $10,000 was also left by General Thayer to provide a permanent fund for the upkeep of the library.
The library was dedicated June 4, 1874, and was opened to the public in September of that year serving as the town library for 79 years, and is now the home of the Braintree Water Department.
[LIB10986] Henry Hobson Richardson (1838-1886), a native of Louisiana, created an architectural style of his own, ‘Richardsonian Romanesque’ characterized by a massive, solid stone appearance contrasted with squat towers, Romanesque arches, recessed entrances and bands of windows. This building was built posthumously, in 1889, from an enlarged design he had submitted for the Hoyt Memorial Library in East Saginaw, Michigan. The stone used on this construction is Massachusetts sandstone. The Seal of New Orleans has been carved over the entrance. Inside, the reading room is a grandly scaled circular room with a massive hooded fireplace and an intricate dome-like hammerbeam ceiling carved with wolves.