Oaks Ames Memorial Library
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Architect Henry Hobson Richardson
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Location North Easton, Massachusetts   map
Date 1877 to 1879   timeline
Building Type library
 Construction System bearing masonry, stone
Climate temperate
Style Richardsonian
Notes tower by entrance. vaulted wood finish ceiling at reading room




Plan Drawing
Perspective Drawing

Discussion Oaks Ames Memorial Library Commentary

"Richardson's design for the Ames Library is basically rectangular in plan with the major rooms, the stack wing, hall, and reading room, arranged longitudinally. A broad gable projects forward from the north end of the longitudinal mass. This gable is marked by the arched entry to the outside porch on the first floor and by a row of five arched windows separated by pairs of short columns supporting the arches on the second. The stack wing windows form a horizontal band, each group of three separated by four short columns. Construction is of warm, light-brown Milford granite laid in random ashlar with dark reddish brown Longmeadow brownstone trim. The roof is red-orange tile over wood barrel-vaulted stack wing ceiling. The fireplace in the reading room is largely the work of Stanford White. The original stone and present bronze medallions of Oliver Ames II were designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens."

—Jeffrey Karl Ochsner. H.H. Richardson, Complete Architectural Works. p183.


Address:53 Main StreetNorth Easton, Massachusetts

"The commission, according to Van Rensselaer, entered Richardson's office September 1877. The building was under construction in 1878 and completed in 1879; but it was not opened until 1883, possibly because of cost overruns. The final cost of the building, furnishings, books, and investments in a permanent fund was probably over $80,000.

In 1931 the children's wing in red brick was added to the rear, an addition that eliminated the original lavatory and document room."

— Jeffrey Karl Ochsner. H.H. Richardson, Complete Architectural Works. p183.

Sources on Oaks Ames Memorial Library

Michael Brawne. Libraries: Architecture and Equipment. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970. LC 73-089609. Z679.B83. exterior photo, p21.

Donald Corner and Jenny Young. Slide from photographer's collection. PCD.2260.1012.1842.16

Edward R. Ford. The Details of Modern Architecture. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1990. ISBN 0-262-06121-X. LC 89-31772. NA2840.F67 1989. drawing of roof framing axonometric, p22. drawing of wall section at stack wing detail, p22.   Highly recommended for serious observers, and available at

Mariana Griswaold Van Rensselaer. Henry Hobson Richardson and His Works. New York: Dover Publications, 1969. NA737.R5V3 1969. LC 68-12915. drawing of exterior perspective, p70.

Jeffrey Karl Ochsner. H.H. Richardson, Complete Architectural Works. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1988. ISBN 0-262-65015-0. NA737.R5A4 1982. discussion and details, p183. plan drawing, f68a, p185, from "The Ames Memorial Building, North Easton Mass.," Monographs of American Architecture, No. 3.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Oaks Ames Memorial Library


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