Thursday, May 26, 2011

1907 Masonic Temple and Public Library, New Rochelle, New York

[LIB1806] The local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Masons was making a clear statement when it constructed this imposing building at the turn of the 20th century. Located in the heart of the community’s rapidly growing business district, the structure was designed to be one of the largest in the downtown, and the most monumental.

The first and immediate tenant was the New Rochelle Library. Moving out of their small quarters in the New Rochelle Trust Company building at 40 Centre Avenue (no longer standing), the trustees leased two floors of the new Masonic Temple, as it was called. In addition to stacks of books, the Masonic building allowed the library to offer a large reading room, a reference room and a special space for children’s books and programs. As the community grew in leaps and bounds during this decade, so did the library needs of the community. In 1910 the city joined many other municipalities across the country in requesting a new library from Andrew Carnegie. [Website]

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