Tuesday, December 13, 2011

1906 Memorial Building and Public Library, Lowell, Massachusetts

[LIB6018] - Lowell's first public library was established in 1844. Originally located in rooms of the old City Hall on Merrimack Street, the holdings of this library constituted approximately 3,500 volumes. Some 28 years later, outgrowing this space, the library was moved to the Masonic Temple, also on Merrimack Street.

In 1889, the Lowell City Council passed a resolution providing for the erection of a new City Hall. Shortly thereafter, as a result of a petition by Lowell citizens, the Council authorized a second building to be located adjacent to this new City Hall, to be dedicated to the memory of the Lowell men who had lost their lives in the Civil War. This building would also be the site of the new library.

During the ceremony to lay the cornerstone, Edward T. Russell, Commander of the B.F. Butler Post of the G.A.R., said the new building would be "a monument to the heroism of the past and a storehouse of knowledge for the future."

For almost 90 years the building was known simply as Memorial Hall and the library it housed was called the Lowell City Library. In 1981, it was renamed the Pollard Memorial Library in memory of the late Mayor Samuel S. Pollard. [Website]

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