Thursday, November 12, 2015
Pease Memorial Public Library, Ridgewood, New Jersey
This stately Italian Renaissance-style library was built between 1921 and 1923. It is an excellent example of Palladian library design popular during the early 20th century. The funds for its construction were bequeathed by Gertrude Pease as a memorial to her father. She was the moving force behind a women’s group known as the “Village Improvement Association” that established Ridgewood’s first library in 1897, using donated books and rented rooms. According to the terms of the Pease bequest, the building was to be used as a library in perpetuity.
The Pease Library was Ridgewood’s main library until 1962, when the village opened a new library across town. For many years, the Pease Library served as a branch library, then briefly the central reference library while the main building was being expanded. When the main library reopened in 1998, the Pease Library was closed and the library board and village government successfully petitioned the court to void the deed restriction requiring that the building always be used as a library. Read more...