: This photograph is a view of Toledo Public Library building located at Madison Avenue and Ontario Street. Noted Toledo architect Edward O. Fallis (1851-1927) designed the library in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. Rough-hewn stones are arranged in horizontal bands of varying widths. The building has the rounded turrets and curved corners associated with this style. A tree stands in front of the building, whose exterior walls are overgrown with foliage. A handwritten caption in the bottom border reads: "Toledo Public Library."
Toledo's public library system has its roots in subscription libraries that charged an annual fee to its members. The Young Men's Association organized the city's first such library in 1838. The nationwide public library movement began during the 1870s, and in 1873 the Toledo city council authorized the purchase of two subscription library collections. This step marked the beginning of the Toledo Public Library.
In 1890 the city built the library seen in this photograph. It remained Toledo’s only public library until 1917, when Carnegie Foundation financed the construction of branch libraries. By the 1930s, space in the main library was at a premium, and shortly after the current main library (on Michigan Street) was completed in 1940, the original building was razed. The site is now a parking lot.
Fallis was a noted Toledo architect who designed several buildings that are on the National Register of Historic Places.
View on Ohio Memory.
: AL06167 Subjects
: Architecture--Ohio; Toledo (Ohio); Libraries--Ohio--History; Richardsonian Romanesque Places
: Toledo (Ohio); Lucas County (Ohio)