NORWOOD HISTORICAL SOCIETY
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Norwood Branch Library
(a Carnegie Library)
in Norwood, Ohio, from a tour in November 2010.


The Norwood Library was completed in 1907 with funds provided by Andrew Carnegie Foundation. It is an Italian Renaissance style building. It has had two major makeovers — one in the 1960s, when one of the stairways to the second floor was removed and another in 2001, which restored some of the original architectural elements. In the photos below are some areas not normally open to the public and some of the original art.

Art Objects on the First Floor


One of two large Rookwood urns that were
originally sitting at the front of the building,
but are now inside.



A bust that was also originally in the children's
section, but is now near the rear entrance.

One of two Clement Barnhorn bas relief panels,
originally in the children's section, but now behind
the checkout desk.



Another Barnhorm bas relief, originally in the
children's section, but now in the reading room.


Second Floor and the Auditorium


Originally, there were two stairs to the second floor. The north stairway was removed when the building was remodeled in the 1960s. Here is the remaining south stairway at the second floor landing.. The handrails (or bannisters) and newels are wood, but the balusters are metal. The steps and landings are marble. Down the hallway the five front windows overlooking Montgomery Road are visible.

After coming up the stairs, we enter the hallway outside the auditorium. The second set of stairs was at the other end of the hallway. To the right are the windows looking out on Montgomery Road. To the left are side doors leading to the auditorium.


At the end of the hallway near the stairs is a doorway to a small room.
This south room is at the back of the auditorium. The door to the right goes to the auditorium.


From the south room or from the hallway, we can enter the auditorium.
Here is a view of the back section of the auditorium.
The red steel support columns were added later.


Looking right, the front of the auditorium can be seen.
The stage is in the opening at the front.




Wide view of the auditorium.



Some of the seating has been moved about.
There is ornamental scrollwork on the seating sides,
especially at the end of each row.
Here is a detail of that ornamentation.
Molded into the metal is ...
"GRAND RAPIDS SCHOOL FURNITURE CO. MICH"
This company, which was founded in 1886 or 1887,
is now the American Seating Company.
In 1893, the company introduced the tilt-back opera
chair. Is this an example of that innovation?
In 1899, the company merged with 19 other furniture
manufacturers to become the American Furniture Co.


Along the walls of the auditorium are light fixtures.
Here is one that is in good shape.
Many of the other fixtures are missing the
glass bowl and other original parts.

At the front of the auditorium is the stage.
Notice the four windows at the back of the stage.
At the front center of the stage is an opening
covering with boards to appear as part of the flooring.
It may have been used for a prompter.
The front edge of the stage is curved and there
are a bank of recessed lights there.


To the right of the stage is a door leading
to the hallway. Note that there are two more
windows on the hallways north wall.
To the left of the door is the fusebox.


There are five windows in the front, or east,
side of the hallway. There are columns on either side
of the front of the building. From the two end windows,
the tops of the columns can be seen. Here is one.

Between the columns is a ledge. There are several
objects outside the front windows on this ledge.
Here is one — a stone owl.



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