H.H Richardson
The Woburn Public Library
One of the National Historic Landmarks in Woburn

 

Charles Bowers Winn, a prominent leather merchant, willed funds for a building to honor his father, founder of the Woburn Public Library. Winn's legacy was accepted in 1876 for a new library building and a competition was held to determine the architect. Winn's will stipulated that the building house both books and oil paintings.

 

 H.H. Richardson's design won the competition and the town of Woburn won architectural significance and a now designated national historical building.
  The Woburn Library is the first of Richarson's public libraries for small towns for which he is famous. It is one of the largest and most complex, and probably the most elaborate and most picturesque. It is "Southern" Romanesque. The total length is 163 feet. The main portion contains the reading room and book room with offices above, a picture gallery. The octagon is an art museum. The library has an impressive collection of art works. The interior detail of the building is equally as impressive and interesting as the art works. There is a lovely arched fireplace alcove and iron railed balconies, incredible carvings, cornices and window designs. The whole effect is typical of Richardson's powerful and substantial style.

Back to Richardson Romanesque