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Greenfield library honored for historic architecture

  • Built in 1908, the Stephenson Memorial Library in Greenfield is perhaps the earliest example of Beaux Arts architecture in the state. (BEN CONANT / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Copyright Monadnock Ledger-Transcript. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to news@ledgertranscript.com. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Built in 1908, the Stephenson Memorial Library in Greenfield is perhaps the earliest example of Beaux Arts architecture in the state. (BEN CONANT / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Copyright Monadnock Ledger-Transcript. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to news@ledgertranscript.com. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Built in 1908, the Stephenson Memorial Library in Greenfield is perhaps the earliest example of Beaux Arts architecture in the state. (BEN CONANT / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Copyright Monadnock Ledger-Transcript. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to news@ledgertranscript.com. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Built in 1908, the Stephenson Memorial Library in Greenfield is perhaps the earliest example of Beaux Arts architecture in the state. (BEN CONANT / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Copyright Monadnock Ledger-Transcript. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to news@ledgertranscript.com. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Built in 1908, the Stephenson Memorial Library in Greenfield is perhaps the earliest example of Beaux Arts architecture in the state. (BEN CONANT / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Copyright Monadnock Ledger-Transcript. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to news@ledgertranscript.com. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Published: 5/29/2020 4:00:23 PM

The Trustees and “Friends” of the Stephenson Memorial Library in Greenfield announced the library’s eligibility for the New Hampshire Registry of Historic Places for its educational role in the town and for its classical revival and Beaux-Arts style architecture.

The Register of Historic Places is an honorary listing that encourages the protection of significant buildings, districts, sites, landscapes, structures or objects that are meaningful in the history, architecture, archeology,engineering, or traditions of New Hampshire residents and communities.

Built in 1908, the Stephenson Memorial Library is the earliest example of Beaux-Arts architecture in the state, the trustees stated in a press release, and one of only five in New Hampshire. The Beaux-Arts style of construction was popular in the United States from around 1880-1930. The style, named for the premier French school of architecture, the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, was introduced to the United States by American architects like Richard Morris Hunt who attended the prestigious school in the late nineteenth-century. Hunt designed the Newport, Rhode Island mansion of Cornelius Vanderbilt,“The Breakers,” in this style in 1892.

The Beaux-Arts style was most often seen in places where turn-of-the-century wealth was concentrated, major urban centers and resort communities. Greenfield, New Hampshire was none of these, but the Stephenson Memorial Library’s founders must have been determined to build a defining asset. The characteristics used in this style such as large columns and ornate detailing helped reflect the wealth that was accumulated during the industrial revolution.


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