Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hillsboro Library Is Something to Be Proud Of

I have always been fascinated by small town libraries still housed in old buildings, considering them to be special little gems.  I have, for instance, seen a number of nicely maintained (often fully restored) Carnegie libraries over the years and I never fail to silently thank Mr. Carnegie when I get lucky enough to spot one of the libraries he funded.

Last weekend, as I was returning from the big book auction up in Archer City, I stumbled across a new one to add to my list of favorite library sites.  This one is located in Hillsboro, Texas, and was originally constructed in 1913 as the town's U.S. Post Office - which it remained until 1967.  The building itself is an adaptation of the Foundling Hospital of Florence, Italy.  Admittedly, the library is a fraction of the size of that beautiful structure (built in 1419) but it is a nice copy.

(Click on the photos to see a larger version of them.)

The first photo is of the Hillsboro library; the second is the Foundling Hospital:

Hillsboro Public Library

Foundling Hospital, Florence, Italy

Library Entrance

A Look Inside Via a Front Window

 I wish I could have gotten inside to do a little exploring, but these pictures were all taken on a Sunday morning.  With the budget cuts that so many library systems have made in recent years, I doubt that this one is open on Sundays at all these days.  But that brief glimpse through the window, despite the halo effect, gives an idea of what the interior is like.

I mentioned over on Facebook that I need to dedicate a road trip to searching out more old libraries.  In the past, I've taken extended driving vacations specifically to visit baseball parks and Civil War battle sites, so that's not too much of a stretch.


  1. My hometown, Sedalia, MO has a Carnegie library. My son used to call it 'the castle' when he was little.

  2. Can you imagine how much different this country would have been (and would have looked) without all that Carnegie money being spent on worthy public causes, Susan? Do you have pictures of the Sedalia Carnegie library?

  3. Beautiful! I love reading statues and library architecture :)

  4. Erin, the pictures of the library really can't do it justice. I found it impossible to get the right angles that i needed to take the most revealing photos. Loved the father-daughter piece most of all, I think, but in combination with the building they were just about perfect.