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Canton Public Library

The original Canton Public Library is a 1904 Beaux Arts building designed by Winslow and Bigelow. It was expanded in the 1960’s, but growing library programs had overtaxed the capabilities of the building. The expanded library adds 25,523 square feet of space and renovates 10,804 square feet of the historic building. The scale of the project and the sloping site led to a three level design. The main level is entered through the historic Washington Street entrance and a new ramped entry along a curving arcade. It houses Browsing collections, Reference, Young Adults, and non-print media. The historic reading rooms, with fireplaces and vaulted ceilings, are restored, as is the dome and Rotunda at the historic entrance. The second floor houses non-fiction collections and staff areas. The ground floor provides a greatly expanded Children’s Library with its own entrance and a suite of meeting rooms.

The character of the new addition reflects the Beaux Arts design of the original building, with curved and rotated elements adding a more dynamic quality to the massing. The exterior is brick and limestone, with a copper roof to match the original 1904 building. The parking lot curves around the building to serve the new entrance=, and a new wetland is added to the landscape.

(Richard Smith was Project Architect for Stahl Associates and Burt Hill)

Project Type

Canton, MA

35,327 sf



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