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The terracotta plaque on this newly finished library exterior notes "Public Library" although the Patten Free Library is not owned by the city. Probably photographed in 1890, the building displays the characteristic bands of narrow windows, the massive tower, and the arched entrances of the Richardsonian-Romanesque style chosen by the architect George Edward Harding.
The Patten Library Association began in November of 1847, although a lending library was established in the City of Bath as early as the 1810s. This building was the first structure built explicitly to house the collection and it was funded largely by Galen C. Moses who donated $10,000 in February of 1887 for the purpose of this construction, with the condition that the name be changed to the Patten Free Library and that it be open to all the citizens of Bath. As it is today, even in this original building a space was put aside for the use of the local historical society.
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