A very attractive building. According to Wikipedia the Howland Cultural Center:

…formerly known as Howland Library, is located on Main Street (New York State Route 52 Business) in Beacon, New York, United States. It is an ornate brick building designed by Richard Morris Hunt in the 1870s. In 1973 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Hunt was commissioned by his brother-in-law, Joseph Howland, to design a home for a subscription library he donated to the city. The completed building has much in common with the Stick style summer homes in Newport, Rhode Island, that Hunt designed at this early stage of his career. Some of its design elements have been compared to Norwegian vernacular architecture. The interior was not complete in its current form until almost the end of the century. Except for some upgrades to its utilities, it has remained largely intact since then.

Throughout the 1920s it was one of only two remaining public subscription libraries in the state. In response to a donor’s bequest, the library became free at the end of that decade. Almost 50 years later, the library moved out when it outgrew the building. Since then it has been used as a cultural center, hosting various visual and performing arts events.

Bears stand guard over the entrance.

Detail of the facade.

Statue outside the Howland Cultural Center.

Leave a Reply