Old Hamilton Library

The Old Hamilton Branch Library at 3006 Hamilton Avenue is a historic branch library building constructed in 1920 to serve the community of Hamilton in the developing Harford Road corridor of northeast Baltimore. The library remained at this location through 1959 when a new Hamilton Branch Library building opened on Harford Road.

Designed by Baltimore architect Theodore W. Pietsch and built by Baltimore contractor R.B. Mason on a property donated through the organized efforts of the Woman's Club of Hamilton and the Hamilton Improvement Association, the Old Hamilton Branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library is a handsome example of the work of an accomplished Beaux Arts architect and an enduring legacy of the enterprising efforts of civic and social organizations in promoting community development and civic life of northeast Baltimore during the early twentieth century. In addition, the Old Hamilton Library is distinguished as one of a collection of libraries in Baltimore and across the nation built from the late 1900s through the 1920s with support from Pittsburgh industrialist Andrew Carnegie.

In May 1917, the Woman’s Club of Hamilton and Ms. E.W.H. Scott, a library organizer with the Maryland Public Library Association established a “library organization” with the goal of building a free public library in Hamilton. They combined their efforts with the Hamilton Improvement Association to raise funds and purchase a lot for the library at the northwest corner of Hamilton.

The building remained in use as a library for nearly three decades, providing books to patrons and serving as a social center for the broader community with exhibits from local painters and evening movie screenings. By the late 1940s, however, the growing number of library patrons living in northeast Baltimore made it difficult for the small building to keep up. After more years of efforts by local residents, construction began on a new library building designed by architects Cochran, Stephenson and Wing on April 2, 1957. In 1959, a new Hamilton Branch Library opened on Harford Road at Glenmore. The original building passed into use as commercial office building and remained occupied in this use by a variety of tenants through the early 2000s. Baltimore Heritage worked with the Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street program to list the building on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.

Images

Hamilton Library (c. 1920)

Hamilton Library (c. 1920)

Exterior view of the Old Hamilton Library. | Source: Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street View File Details Page

Old Hamilton Library (2012)

Old Hamilton Library (2012)

Exterior view of the Old Hamilton Library. | Source: Baltimore Heritage | Creator: Eli Pousson View File Details Page

Old Hamilton Library (2012)

Old Hamilton Library (2012)

Exterior view of the front facade of the Old Hamilton Library. | Source: Baltimore Heritage | Creator: Eli Pousson View File Details Page

Detail, Old Hamilton Library (2012)

Detail, Old Hamilton Library (2012)

Detail view of the lamp next to the original front entrance to the Old Hamilton Library. | Source: Baltimore Heritage | Creator: Eli Pousson View File Details Page

Interior, Old Hamilton Library (2012)

Interior, Old Hamilton Library (2012)

Interior view of the upper floor of the Old Hamilton Library. | Source: Baltimore Heritage | Creator: Eli Pousson View File Details Page

Street Address:

3006 Hamilton Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21214 [map]

Cite this Page:

Eli Pousson, “Old Hamilton Library,” Explore Baltimore Heritage, accessed June 28, 2017, http://explore.baltimoreheritage.org/items/show/373.
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