Cambridge Public Library
Cambridge Public Library
|Architect||Van Brunt & Howe (1888), William Rawn Associates (2009)|
|Architectural style||Other, Romanesque|
|NRHP Reference #||82001931|
|Added to NRHP||April 13, 1982|
In fiscal year 2009, the city of Cambridge spent 1.38% ($4,893,254) of its budget on the library, $45 per person.
The main building of the Cambridge Public Library is an historic library building at 449 Broadway. It was built in 1888 with land and full construction funding donated by Frederick H. Rindge, a Cambridge native and philanthropist. The building was added to the National Historic Register in 1982.
A $90 million expansion and renovation of the library, led by the Boston architectural firms William Rawn Associates and Ann Beha Architects, opened on November 8, 2009. The new addition more than triples the square footage of the building, and is the first building in the USA to make use of European Double-Skin Curtainwall technology. Architectural drawings and construction photos are available here. During most of the construction, the library collection had been relocated to the Longfellow School.
Museum of Science Community Solar System
Prior to the renovation of the main library, the library was home to a scale model of the planet Saturn in the Boston Museum of Science's community-wide solar system model. Saturn was located just outside the portion of the building that housed the old stacks, roughly where the computer workstation sign-in table is currently located. The Saturn model was packed up and shipped back to the Museum of Science and was not positioned at the reopened renovated library. Other locations in Cambridge that still have models in the historic nine planet series are the Royal Sonesta Hotel (home of Earth) and the Cambridgeside Galleria mall (home of Mars).
History of Organization
The Cambridge Public Library developed out of the Cambridge Athenaeum, which was founded in 1849 as "a lyceum, public library, and reading room with a building on the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Pleasant Street where Cambridge residents could borrow books at the cost of one dollar per year.
The City of Cambridge acquired the Cambridge Athenaeum in 1858 and renamed it the Dana Library for use as a city hall and a public library. By 1866 the Library moved to the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Temple Street. In 1874, the library became free to the public and was renamed the Cambridge Public. The main building of the Cambridge Public Library at 449 Broadway was built in 1888.
Six smaller neighborhood branch libraries are scattered throughout the City of Cambridge. These are:
- Boudreau Branch, 245 Concord Avenue, West Cambridge
- Central Square Branch, 45 Pearl Street, Cambridgeport
- Collins Branch, 64 Aberdeen Avenue, West Cambridge
- O'Connell Branch, 48 Sixth Street, East Cambridge
- O'Neill Branch, 70 Rindge Avenue, North Cambridge
- Valente Branch, 826 Cambridge Street, East Cambridge
As of 2012, the library purchases access for its patrons to databases owned by the following companies:
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15.
- July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009; cf. Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (2011). "FY 2009 Municipal Pie Report". Retrieved 2011-04-04.
- "Community Solar System Official Passport". Boston Museum of Science. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
- Grice, Noreen (September 07, 2006 @ 11:54AM). "why does the world continually conspire to thwart me?". Chaerles Hayden Planetarium. Retrieved July 3, 2013. "The Saturn model was brought back to the Museum of Science when the Cambridge library closed, and is currently in storage. Since the Saturn and Neptune models are not available, we revised the Community Solar System passport to give credit for those planets."
- City of Cambridge Library. "Databases". City of Cambridge. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
- Catalogue of the Cambridge Public Library, 1887.
- The Cambridge Public Library: Its history, rules and regulations, list of officers, past and present, etc. Cambridge, Mass.: J. Wilson and son, 1891
- "Cambridge." Report of the Free Public Library Commission of Massachusetts. 1891
- Annual report. 1893-1904
- Cambridge Public Library Bulletin v.1-v.2 (1896-1897)