Winthrop Library, Winthrop, 1916

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


Architecture commission for an unknown client at 31 Bowdoin Street in Winthrop, ME, 1916. The commission is associated with John Calvin Stevens and John Howard Stevens Architects. This item is part of the Stevens Architects drawings and records collection.

The Winthrop Public Library was originally opened on July 8, 1889. The original library location was known as “Packard Block” and was located in downtown Winthrop. The library contained 1,322 volumes at the time of opening and featured a reading room. The collection had grown to 2,700 volumes by 1904. The cost to use the original library was $1 per year, and the library construction was funded through a combination of private fundraising and a Town grant.

In November of 1916, Charles M. Bailey entered into an agreement with the Town of Winthrop to give a new building to be used for library and reading room purposes. The new library was opened to the public on December 2, 1916 in a dedication ceremony that featured president of Colby College, Arthur J. Roberts, and Dennis’ Orchestra of Augusta, Maine. Charles M. Bailey was the best known member of the Society of Friends in Winthrop, and was known for his “Bailey’s Praying Band,” who conducted evangelistic services. Bailey also owned one of the largest oilcloth manufacturers in America at the time, and employed two hundred individuals in Winthrop in the early 1900s. The original rock face and chiseled granite structure, still in use today, was designed by Maine architect John Calvin Stevens, and his son John Howard Stevens.

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Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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