History of the Library
The beginning of the Maclure Library goes back to 1796, when the first Pittsford Librarian Association was formed. This makes our community library one of (if not the) oldest library organizations in the state.
Our library is named after William Maclure, who donated $400 to help form the Maclure Library Association in 1839. The community library had many homes until 1895. Dr. Henry Walker contracted with the firm of Chappell & Smith to design a building in memory of his brother, Stephen Walker. The dedication ceremony was held on September 11, 1895. The original cost of the building was $20,000.
Romanesque in design, the exterior is rust-colored Roman brick, topped by a red slate hipped roof. All the walls within the building are solid brick. The Syrian arched entry way is brownstone-trimmed, cross-gabled and was originally an open design. The double-wooden doors and stained-glass fanlight were added at a later date to match the original design and provide an interior vestibule.
The interior features stained glass transom windows, a wood-beamed vaulted ceiling, hardwood floors, and gracious woodwork throughout. There are three floors. The lower level was redesigned in 2000 as children’s room, with a reference and computer area.
Some of the original books from the library are on the third floor. In 1934 the Federal Archives Project noted that our community library owned 100 rare editions of books and papers not in the Nationals Archives. These included records of Union and Confederate Navies in the Civil War and correspondence of U.S. Presidents from 1789-1987. The Maclure Library donated these books to the National Archives.
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