Friday Flashback #133

As the Library races toward the June 23 grand opening of its Transformation Project — a full-throated, very cool reimagining of the space — this is a good time to remind Westporters that the current location between the Levitt Pavilion and Taylor Place is not its original home.

It was built in 1908, on the corner of the Post Road (then called State Street) and Main Street. Its original name was the Morris K. Jesup Memorial Library. He died just 4 months before its dedication, after donating both the land and $5,000 for construction.

The original library still stands, though an addition built just to the west hides its grandeur.

It included a very quiet reading room.

An addition in the 1950s — around the time Parker Harding Plaza was built — accommodated the booming demands of post-war Westport.

(Photo courtesy of Paul Ehrismann)

The “new” library may not have worked particularly well at its current site — the former town dump — where it moved in 1986.

But the third time’s the charm. The “new new” one will blow you away.

Morris Jesup would be very proud.

3 responses to “Friday Flashback #133

  1. Chip Stephens

    Must have spent hundreds of hours in the microfiche room there (pre google and Wikipedia)

  2. Mary Cookman Schmerker

    I spent hours there also. I had to look closely to see if I could identify anyone in the reading room. White Bobby Socks, Saddle Shoes and a plaid dress . Must have been taken in the ’50’s.

  3. I loved the old library. Spent hours and hours there as a child.