I’ve seen these spandrel panels quite often when passing this former library and always thought some time along I’d bring a camera and get some photos, and see if maybe I will make a model of this.
If any clients have an interest in something of this nature, feel free to drop me an email through my contact form on the main page.
Now that I have a few photos, here is one;
It measures about 26″ by 21″, I didn’t measure it but estimated the size from comparing the approximate nominal size of 2″ high and 8″ long for the bricks.
This might be better in a smaller version.
The panel is a little different version of a typical education motif like this used on schools, universities and libraries, the one’s I’ve seen over the years typically have 1 torch behind the open book, these have 2 along with a crest having the initials “C L” and 2 additional letter “C’s” near the bottom on the ribbons.
The torch, or torches in this case, along with the open book, represent knowledge and enlightenment. A book represents science, culture, education and development.
It’s a classic age-old design that has endured for a long time, and is considered an enduring education symbol much like the caduceus has long been associated with the medical arts. The caduceus can be found on hospitals, medical buildings, nursing schools etc.
This particular library was decommissioned with the erection of a new larger facility, and this building was converted into a historical museum which is a fitting use for it.
The library was built between 1900 and 1906, and fund raising was not entirely successful until Andrew Carnegie donated $10,000 to the fund to build the building.
Carnegie was a major philanthropist who donated funds like this to hundreds of small towns if not more, to build public libraries.
Most of the buildings would probably not have been built without his donations. Most of these buildings are very small by today’s standards, and they are becoming somewhat obsolete because of space limitations, the lack of handicap access, and their lack of electrical and other utilities to run today’s computer banks and other equipment never dreamed of when they were wired up for the lighting requirements of the era.
Another version I am considering is this one from PS 27, 1906 with a single torch. The school was next door to the NY Daily News building on 42nd street. It was demolished winter of 1976 when the land became more valuable than ever.
The school was almost demolished around 1929 after only 23 years! but the stock market crash prevented plans to do that. In the end unfortunately, this attractive 5 story collegiate gothic school which survived the crash of ’29 fell to increased land values, and an office building took it’s place.
I think I like this one better now that I see them side by side. I could continue the gothic border design around the sides and bottom to complete that, and square it all out.
This was sold many years ago and was quite large, about 36″ across and carved limestone.
More on the school with photos here;