Last weekend I wrote about visiting Bill and Lois Wilson’s home in Katonah, NY. My wife and I arrived before the welcome center opened, so we drove to town to take a walk.
Of course, we sought out the local library where I couldn’t help but snap a few shots. The library was hopping — it was Saturday around noon — so I didn’t take many internal photos out of respect for patrons’ privacy.
The Katonah Village Library was designed by Kerr Rainsford and built in the late 1920s. You can read about the town’s library history here. It is part of the Westchester Library System. The new main entrance is to the right, up the ramp.
This is a view of the library’s length. The original front door is to the right (out of the picture). Can you see the globe and the grandfather clock? Directly in front of them is the circulation desk and the new front entrance. That area is part of a new edition built in the 1960s.
The town is named after Chief Katonah (also Catonah). If you search his name on the internet, you’ll find some brief information about him. He sold land to English settlers in 1708. You’ll also come across articles about how Martha Stewart tried to trademark the name Katonah for a furniture line. She owns a 16 million dollar estate in the area.
Instead of losing a bay of shelves due to the window, these two low shelves jut out of the wall at right angles and provide even more shelf space. They also serve as stand up “desks” where readers can consult books.
In this view, you can see the large floor to ceiling windows that face the new front entrance. They keep the natural light flowing inside. I love a library that makes you feel cozy but not cooped up.
This huge grandfather clock looked like something you’d see in Shirley Jackson’s Hill House, if it were a real place. Notice the little paper dragon on the lower left?
This is where my exploration ended as it was time to head off to the Wilson home. To give you a sense of location, that’s the edge of the original front door to the right.
After we got home, I read on the library’s website that the Katonah Historical Museum is on the third floor.
I hope to be back, as Katonah is a charming village with some fascinating history to explore. In the late 19th century the town moved. Not just the people, but fifty buildings! This was due to New York City’s need for water. Some of the town’s original land was close to two rivers that were flooded to create a reservoir.
Katonah Village Library
26 Bedford Road
Katonah, New York 10536
Date visited: March 9, 2019
This brief library visit motivated me to get back on track with my library visit series.
What sort of library features would you most like to see in future library posts? Let me know in the comments.