Maze Branch Library

845 Gunderson Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60304

708-386-4751
History:

On October 5, 1915 the Oak Park Public Library opened the South Branch Library in a rented store building at 429 Harrison Street. In April of 1935 a bond issue referendum passed by a vote ratio of 2 to 1 allowing for $50,000 to purchase land and build a south branch library building. Twenty-one months later, on November 1, 1936, the south branch library moved to a new facility at its present location at the corner of Gunderson Avenue and Harrison Street.

A local architectural firm of note, E. E. Roberts and Elmer C. Roberts, designed the building and its ornaments. The building is early Georgian design of the Regency period of English architecture. It is constructed of red Old Virginia brick with white stone trim. Completed as a WPA project in 1936, the Maze is known for it's beautiful main reading room, featuring built-in white oak shelving around the perimeter of the room, white oak beams and carved lintels, and fireplace with a pink Tennessee marble hearth and specially designed sconces.

The South Branch was re-named Adele H. Maze Branch in 1957 within two weeks of the death in August of that librarian who did so much for the south Oak Park community from 1918 until 1957. Mrs. Maze was a tireless marketer of her library and designed the grant proposal to fund the construction of the south branch library building. Under her leadership, the branch became known as a caring, helpful place, ready to support the intellectual and cultural growth and development of patrons of all ages.
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