This day in Mohawk Valley history: The Utica Public Library, March 2, 1900

The Utica Observer, March 2, 1900, Utica, Oneida County, New York

Inspected Several Libraries.

“Mayor Sherman, F. T. Proctor, N. E. Devereux and John F. Hughes of the Library trustees returned to Utica last night after inspecting library buildings at Providence, Worcester, Brooklyn and Newark, N. J. The Providence Library was inspected by Messrs. Devereux and Hughes, who went to New York the same evening. Mayor Sherman and Mr. Proctor reached Providence Tuesday afternoon and inspected the library the next day. The cost of the building, including the site was about $320,000. The city has a population of about 170,000 and the appointments of the library are excellent. Wednesday the trustees met in New York and inspected the library connected with Pratt Institute, Brooklyn. Yesterday they inspected the library at Newark library. Mayor Sherman and Mr. Proctor also looked over the library at Worcester. The library at Newark cost $400,000, including the land. Of all the libraries seen, the library at Providence pleased the visitors most in its general features.”

Source: NYS Historic Newspapers

The inspections described in the preceding article were in preparation for the design and build of the Utica Public Library with the cornerstone being laid on May 3, 1903. It was designed in 1903 by Arthur C. Jackson of Carrère and Hastings. The new building opened on December 12, 1904.

The Utica Public Library

December 13, 1904:
Affairs at new Library Run Smoothly
Recipient of First Book.

“Whatever honor may belong to the person drawing the first book from the new Utica Public Library may be claimed by David Greer of 307 Kossuth Ave. Mr. Greer was at the building this morning before the librarian or her assistants arrived, and he was the first to present a card and receive a book over the desk, which has in the hours since been visited by scores.

Matters at the new Library are running as smoothly as though the building had been occupied for years, and thousands of books had been taken from its shelves. Miss Underhill and her assistants are thoroughly at home in the new quarters and a call for a volume is answered as quickly as was the case in the former home. The visitors to the Library have been about as many as went to the old building daily, and about all took the opportunity of inspecting the handsome structure. There were many visitors to the children’s department.

Associated with Miss Underhill is the following force: First assistant, Miss Waller I Bullock; in charge of children’s department, Miss Caroline F. Gleason; regular assistants, Misses Elizabeth A. Jacobs, Grace M. Sherrill, Frances E. Baffin, Mary C. Martin, Luella F. Magill, Ellen Prendergast, Ethel M. Greene, Mary G. Dwyer; temporary assistants, Miss Bessie Balch, Mary Topping, Mollie Clarke, Mary Ehle.

The janitor of the building is Benjamin Feather and his assistant is John F. Freitas.

Some work remains to be done at the building, but it is of such nature that it does not interfere in any way with the services or with the visitors.”

Source: NYS Historic Newspapers

The Utica Public Library is located at 303 Genesee Street and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Utica Public Library, at Utica, New York, United States. Doug Kerr from Upstate New York