Peabody Institute Library (Peabody, Massachusetts)

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Peabody Institute Library
Peabody Institute Library, MA.jpg
Peabody Institute Library
Peabody Institute Library (Peabody, Massachusetts) is located in Massachusetts
Peabody Institute Library (Peabody, Massachusetts)
Peabody Institute Library (Peabody, Massachusetts) is located in the US
Peabody Institute Library (Peabody, Massachusetts)
Location 82 Main St., Peabody, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°31′29″N 70°55′28″W / 42.52472°N 70.92444°W / 42.52472; -70.92444Coordinates: 42°31′29″N 70°55′28″W / 42.52472°N 70.92444°W / 42.52472; -70.92444
Area less than one acre
Built 1853
Architect Unknown
Architectural style Italianate
NRHP reference #


Added to NRHP June 4, 1973

The Peabody Institute Library is the public library serving Peabody, Massachusetts. It was established in 1854 by a bequest from philanthropist and Peabody native George Peabody, and now has its main facility at 82 Main Street, with branches at 78 Lynn Street and 603 Lowell Street. The main library is housed in a two-story brick built in 1853 which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[2][1] The library is claimed to be the oldest public library in the United States to operate continuously from the same location.[3]

Main branch[edit]

1899 view of the library

The main Peabody Institute Library is located in Peabody's downtown, on the north side of Main Street. It is a two-story masonry structure, built out of red brick and brownstone trim and set on a high granite foundation. It is covered by a gabled roof, with extended eaves studded with Italianate brackets, and a round louvered opening at the center of the gable. The ground floor level has brownstone quoining, rising to a shallow cornice that extends across the facade even with the portico sheltering the main entrance. The entrance portico has Ionic columns supporting an entablature and balustrade. Flanking it are round-arch windows with bracketed brownstone sills and lintels. The second level has three taller windows with similar surrounds, with interior round-arch windows topped by circular pane.[3]

The building's construction was funded by a gift of $200,000 from George Peabody, and it was formally dedicated in 1854. The first librarian was Fitch Poole, a noted writer and humorist of the period.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "MACRIS inventory record for Peabody Institute Library". Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2014-01-20. 
  3. ^ a b c "NRHP nomination for Peabody Institute Library". National Archive. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 

External links[edit]