In the 1800's Brighton was Boston's Wild West, home of large stockyards and the supplier of Boston's beef. Over two hundred years ago the people of Brighton formed the Brighton Social Library, open to local citizens for a fee. When the town was annexed to Boston in 1874, the Brighton Social Library became a branch of the Boston Public Library. The same year the collection was moved from the Town Hall to a ornate library building named for Brighton notable, James Holton. In 1969 a new Brighton Branch building was opened. The building was designed by Norman C. Fletcher of the Architects Collaborative of Cambridge.
The 22,400 square foot Brighton Branch at 40 Academy Hill Road, reopened in December 2010 after more than 18 months of extensive interior renovations. The City of Boston's Property and Construction Management Department managed this capital project, which updated the mechanical equipment, provided ADA accessibility, improved sightlines, and increased technological capacity.
The renovation of the 1969 building created light-filled spaces with modern furniture, a new teen space with café-style seating, a new community room, and a landscaped yard on Academy Hill Road. Visitors can also take advantage of more than 20 new computers for all ages.
The Brighton Branch of the Boston Public Library earned LEED® Silver Certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute. The Brighton Branch is one of the first renovated City of Boston buildings to incorporate the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Commercial Interiors guidelines.
The branch holds a very good collection on local history, including a display of photographs from the archives of the Brighton Allston Historical Society, and oral histories of Brighton residents that will soon be available online. In addition to a comprehensive basic collection, the branch holds a large collection of large-print materials. There are also Russian and Spanish reading materials, and an impressive audiovisual collection — DVDs, CDs and more.
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