Ansonia Library (1892)

June 1st, 2009 Posted in Ansonia, Libraries, Romanesque Revival

ansonia-library.jpg

We begin June with libraries, as we declare this week to be Library Week at Historic Buildings of Connecticut! Our first library is the Ansonia Library, designed by the architect George Keller, who was responsible for many other interesting buildings in the state. Caroline Phelps Stokes, granddaughter of Anson Greene Phelps, who founded Ansonia, donated the library, buying the land for it on the corner of South Cliff Street and Cottage Avenue. She traveled from New York to supervise the construction of the building, which utilized Longmeadow freestone with a foundation of granite from Ansonia. In a gable, above the library’s entryway, is a relief sculpture of Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom and knowledge. The Ansonia Library was completed in 1892, but did not open its doors until 1896, because the town government was initially reluctant to provide the $1,500 per year required for the library’s operating expenses.

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