Thomas Crane Public Library
Crane, Thomas, Public Library
The original building (1882), front view, architect H. H. Richardson
|Architect||Henry Hobson Richardson|
|Architectural style||Richardsonian Romanesque|
|NRHP Reference #||72000143|
|Added to NRHP||October 18, 1972|
Wollaston Branch, Thomas Crane Public Library
The Wollaston Branch
|Location||41 Beale St., Quincy, Massachusetts|
|Area||0.2 acres (0.081 ha)|
|Architectural style||Classical Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||89001316|
|Added to NRHP||September 20, 1989|
The Thomas Crane Public Library is a city library in Quincy, Massachusetts. It is noted for its architecture. It was funded by the Crane family as a memorial to Thomas Crane, a wealthy stone contractor who got his start in the Quincy quarries. The Thomas Crane Library has the second largest municipal collection in Massachusetts after the Boston Public Library. Also, the library hosts many community programs, performances, and lectures as well as housing Quincy's local Public-access television cable TV channel, QATV.
In fiscal year 2008, the city of Quincy spent 1.41% ($2,690,878) of its budget on the library—some $29 per person.
The Thomas Crane Public Library was built in four stages: the original building (1882) by architect H. H. Richardson; an additional ell with stack space and stained glass (1908) by William Martin Aiken in Richardson's style; a major expansion (1939) by architects Paul A. and Carroll Coletti, with stone carvings by sculptor Joseph A. Coletti of Quincy; and a recent addition (2001) by Boston architects Childs, Bertman, and Tseckares, which doubled the size of the library. H. H. Richardson considered this library among his most successful civic buildings, and Harper's Weekly called it "the best village library in the United States". The library was ranked 43rd in a national poll conducted in 2007 by the American Institute of Architects of the favorite buildings in the nation.
In addition to its architecture, the original building contains a 30 × 10 inch stained glass window by noted American artist John LaFarge in memory of Thomas Crane, entitled the Old Philosopher. To the left of the elaborate carved fireplace is a second LaFarge window, "Angel at the Tomb", given in memory of Crane's son Benjamin Franklin Crane. The library's grounds were designed by landscaper Frederick Law Olmsted.
The main library is a National Historic Landmark.
The Wollaston Branch is listed separately on the National Register of Historic Places. The library had two other branches as of October 2009: the North Quincy Branch on Hancock Street near North Quincy High School, and the Adams Shore branch on Sea Street in Hough's Neck. There had been four other branches until municipal budget cutbacks in 1981; two of these were the Atlantic Branch on Atlantic Street and the Quincy Point branch off of Washington Street.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- Paula D. Watson. Carnegie Ladies, Lady Carnegies: Women and the Building of Libraries. Libraries & Culture, Vol. 31, No. 1, Reading & Libraries I (Winter, 1996)
- July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008; cf. The FY2008 Municipal Pie: What’s Your Share? Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Board of Library Commissioners. Boston: 2009. Available: Municipal Pie Reports
- Thomas Crane Public Library Website
- Thomas Crane Library Quincy, Massachusetts: Dedication October 14, 2001
- Quincy Access Television