Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Frontispiece

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pp. i-viii

Contents

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pp. ix-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xiv

In preparing this book, we had two fundamental goals. The first was to showcase the design of the Main Library using pictures of the past as well as images of the library today as seen through the eyes of Detroit’s modern photographers. The second was to share with the...

Timeline

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pp. 1-8

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Building a Library

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pp. 9-28

Michigan was the first state to include a provision for public libraries in its constitution. The first Michigan Constitution (1835) recognized libraries as an integral part of the state’s educational system. Article 10, Section 4 states, “As soon as the circumstances of the state will...

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Entrance

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pp. 29-36

Born in Ireland, John Emmett Donnelly Sr. was a distinguished art sculptor and worked with several of the major architects of the Beaux Arts School. Some of his notable works can be found in the United States Supreme Court, Department of Justice, and National Archives...

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Children’s Room

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pp. 37-49

Mary Chase Perry Stratton was a pioneer in the American Arts and Crafts Movement and had an important role in the growth of ceramics. Stratton was born in 1867 in Hancock, Michigan, located in what is known as the Upper Peninsula’s copper mining country. The origin...

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Grand Staircase

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pp. 50-73

Born in New York City in 1848, Edwin Howland Blashfield studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His artistic education began at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, followed by study abroad in Paris with the French academic painters...

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Fine Arts Room

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pp. 74-85

Emma Ciardi was born in Venice. Her father, Guglielmo, and brother Beppe were also painters, allowing Ciardi to begin painting as an adolescent. She exhibited for the first time at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900 and later at the Promotrice in Turin at the Esposizione...

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The Loggia

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pp. 86-93

Cass Gilbert created a second-story open loggia consisting of seven noble arches that face Woodward Avenue directly across the street from the majestic Detroit Institute of Art. The loggia is an architectural feature that expresses grace, harmony, and beauty that radiates...

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Civics Room

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pp. 94-98

Framed in Greek key design, a lunette of a god with a snake entwined around a sacred staff over an entry into the Civics Room. A turtle, symbolizing endurance and tranquility, is at the base of the staff. Golden lizards and snails provide a rich...

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Reference Room

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p. 99

Now known as the Literature and Fine Arts Room, the original Reference Room has a ceiling that was later replicated by Cass Gilbert in the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. Photograph courtesy of the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library.

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Delivery Hall / Adam Strohm Hall

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pp. 100-111

The Delivery Hall without painted windows, circa 1921. The coffered ceiling is replicated from a nave of Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome. Photograph courtesy of the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library.

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Book Lover’s Room / E. Azalia Hackley Collection

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pp. 112-115

The Book Lover’s Room, adjacent to Adam Strohm Hall, is now known as the Reading Room of the E. Azalia Hackley Collection of African Americans in the Performing Arts. Photograph courtesy of the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library.

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Music Room

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pp. 116-120

The Music Room (formerly known as the Music and Drama Room), features a coffered ceiling adapted from the Ducal Palace, Mantua, Italy. The ceiling features gold and blue rosettes within caissons. Photograph courtesy of the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library.

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The 1963 Addition

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pp. 121-143

Beginning in 1926, just five years after the new Detroit Public Library opened, discussions were underway regarding building new wings. On December 11, 1926, Detroit Saturday Night quoted Adam Strohm, library director: “Some of our departments are, during two...

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The Burton Reading Room

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pp. 144-155

Clarence Monroe Burton was a Detroit lawyer, businessman, historian, and philanthropist. He was born in Whiskey Diggings, California, a small mining town. His parents had moved from New York to Battle Creek, Michigan, where Burton’s father, a doctor, founded the...

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The Cass Avenue Entrance

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pp. 156-162

Millard Sheets was one of the founding members of the “California Scene Painters,” artists who created a lasting influence upon generations of western painters. He and a small group worked in California during the 1930s and 1940s and developed a style of watercolor...

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The Twenty-First-Century Library

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pp. 163-174

Today’s libraries still lend books. But they also provide other services to communities, such as free access to computers and Wi-Fi, story times to children, language classes to immigrants and technology training to everyone. Public libraries are arguably more important...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 175-178

This book was designed to be a community collaboration. We invited Detroit-area photographers, photography clubs, and classes to come to the Main Library and share with us their artistic vision of the building as captured through photography. The response to our request...

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The Detroit Public Library Friends Foundation

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pp. 179-180

After its establishment in 1865, the Detroit Public Library fared well in accumulating large numbers of books and documents as well as rare and unusual items that served the needs of researchers and scholars. Although materials were gratefully received, cash donations were...

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Photographers

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pp. 181-183

John Campbell has been a photographer for more than forty years. He teaches photography at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, gives presentations on photography, and conducts photo workshops. His tagline is “I carry my camera with...