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Patten Free Library

Architectural rendering of Patten Free Library, Bath, ca. 1888

Contributed by Patten Free Library
MMN Item 28567 Item Details
Architectural rendering of Patten Free Library, Bath, ca. 1888
MMN Item 28567 Zoom


This pen and ink drawing of the "South West View" of Patten Free Library by the architect George E. Harding emphasizes the front entrance on the western facade.

The doors are emphasized by their recessed location within the large Romanesque arch in the massive tower that dominated the original structure.The use of the arch, the tower, rounded corners, and the placement of transomed windows are typical of the Richardsonian Romanesque style, an architectural style that became almost synonymous with public libraries in New England.

Thus it was a natural fashion for Harding to use in his vision of a library building for the Patten Library Association, a structure actually finished in 1890.

George E. Harding (1842-1907) was raised in Bath, the son of Edward Kelloran Harding (1817-1874) and Louise H. McLellan Harding (1817-1907. The family home was across Washington Street from what became the location of Patten Free Library.

Although Harding's father Edward had died by the time of this building's construction, Harding's mother would have been able to look out her front windows and watch the progress of the construction of her son's design and its finished appearance.

Harding has also been associated with the design of the Central Congregational Parish Hall and the home of Albert Shaw, both in Bath, but his practice was based in New York City.

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