Thursday Library Doors

“I Cannot Live Without Books”-Thomas Jefferson

Last week I was on the hunt for Running For My LIfe by Lopez Lomong which lead me to the library. We have several branches of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library, this being the Central branch located at 201 E. Market Street in downtown Charlottesville. wp-1489071579463.jpgwp-1489071707488.jpg

After NOT finding my book, (the other ladies in my book club have the book either checked out or on the wait list ahead of me), I walked around the block and back to my car.wp-1489071532551.jpg I usually park in the same vicinity when space is available so I was surprised when I noticed this building plaque directly next to where I parked. McIntire Public Library???? What? I’ve only known this to be the Historical Society.  Time to investigate…

Yes, the Albemarle County Historical Society building, which sits somewhat behind the library I was just in, is the original site of our first municipal library, circa May 1921. (Our first recorded library was established in 1823 by the Albemarle Library Association and was located in Court Square). The land, building construction, furnishings and initial 5,000 books were gifted by Paul Goodloe McIntire, a local Charlottesvillian, who earned his fortune in the Chicago and New York Stock Exchanges in the early 1900’s. When he returned home to C’ville he gifted much of his fortune to the city and county (of Albemarle) including this library, Charlottesville’s first true public library. Here is one side of the marble steps leading up to the front doors to the Historical Society building. The Historical Society renovated this building in 1993 and moved in in 1994.

I don’t know what to call this fan-like ‘medallion’ or embellishment located in the porch ceiling but I found it a very pretty detail worthy of noting.wp-1489071548651.jpg

With these new building facts in mind, I wondered what business existed central library earlier photobefore the Central Library took over its current space on Market Street? Upon further reading I found the building served as the former Market Street Post Office and Federal Building, the post office operated on the first floor and the Court House on the second. In October 1977 Charlottesville and Albemarle County purchased and renovated the property  and re-opened in February 1981 transformed as the Central branch library I visit today.

And all I wanted was a library book, that I didn’t get, but a history lesson instead. Thank you Norm for hosting another eventful Thursday Doors!


  1. As I’ve said elsewhere at various time in this challenge, I don’t care what the library door looks like; it’s what inside that counts. I must admit, though, that a gorgeous library like this makes it even better. As for the quote, Tom and I are, if you’ll pardon the pun, on the same page with regards to books. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  2. The first photo has featured some mighty serious columns!! … but it’s the last door with all the wow, wow, wow … the transom window, the decorative urn, the fan-shaped pattern in the ceiling to complement the window, …. all of it just perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The East Tennessee History Center in Knoxville has a similar history. I just went to see the newest temporary exhibit there. It’s called “Rock of Ages” and talks about East Tennessee marble that is prized the world over and was once such an important sector of the local economy that it earned Knoxville the nickname of Marble City. East Tennessee marble from Knox County still beautifies the interiors of the Tennessee State Capitol and marble from Hawkins County was installed inside the new House of Representatives and Senate wings of the United States Capitol when they were built. In the decades that followed, East Tennessee’s varicolored marble was sought by architects and patrons for the interiors of public buildings: state capitol buildings, courthouses, and city halls. Tennessee marble was also installed in NYC’s Grand Central Station when it was built and the industry was recently temporarily resuscitated on a small scale when a few areas of that high traffic railroad terminal flooring was refurbished. It’s really beautiful stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

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