St Paul Public/James T. Hill Library
Backstory and Context
Funds for the library came from railroad baron James J. Hill, a subscription campaign, a bequest from Greenleaf Clark and a sale of bonds authorized by the state legislature. The total cost of the facility, including the James T. Hill Reference Library, was $1.5 million.
The building’s exterior is made of Tennessee marble while the interior is predominately gray Mankato stone. Noteworthy architectural features include round arched windows, Palladian style entrances, large stonework, the balustrade surrounding the building, classical columnns and pilasters among others. The original woodwork is gray stained maple.
Numerous renovations have taken place through the years. In 2014, the Central Library was renamed the George Latimer Central Library, to honor the former St. Paul mayor. Today, in addition to the main building, the St. Paul Library system includes 12 branches and a bookmobile. The main branch is home to about 350,000 books and other materials, and gets more than 300,000 visitors a year.
City of St. Paul website, accessed May 4, 2017. https://www.stpaul.gov/DocumentCenter/View4/79236.pdf
St. Paul Library website, accessed May 4, 2017. http://www.sppl.org/about/library-history