The Quincy Public Library in Quincy, Illinois as it
appeared in The Daily Times (Richmond, Va) on July 2, 1888.
Why would a Richmond newspaper run an image of a new building in Illinois? While looking for something else I came across several issues of the Daily Times where they published images of newly constructed buildings outside of Virginia. Those same pages had a listing of local Richmond architects and builders. Was one of those architects or builders responsible for calling attention to these out of state buildings? Or was it a case of some sort of wire subscription to provide copy to newspapers nationwide? I do not know the answer, but, as we say at VCU, it is worth pursuing.
The building is in the Richardsonian style. That same year in Richmond construction began on Richmond's first Richardsonian style building, Ginter House, at 901 Park Ave. It actually became the home of Richmond's first public library in 1925. The lasted for five years before the building was purchased by the school that became Richmond Professional Institute (now VCU).
A postcard image of the library - postmarked 1909.
And what happened to this interesting building? I emailed the library at Quincy, Ill. and asked - here's the response I received:
The old Free Public Library was built in 1888 by F. W. Menke Co. [a stone company]. The building has not been demolished. It still stands on 4th and Maine, and is now the Gardner Museum of Architecture and Design.
Thanks for asking, and for the postcard image.
Sincerely,Nancy DolanQuincy Public Library
I think it is great their building is still around. I wish Richmond kept more of its old buildings! Check out the link to the Gardner Museum - it has more images of this building and mentions the architectural firm.- Ray B.