Winn Memorial Public Library

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Winn Memorial Public Library is named for Jonathan Bowers Winn, founder of the original Woburn public library. In 1873, Winn passed away and left a considerable estate to his son, Charles Bowers Winn. The younger Winn died two years later and bequeathed funds to the town of Woburn for a new library. His will called for a competition to be held between architects of the highest reputation to ensure that the building would be "an architectural ornament to the town." The following year, many highly respected architects from New York and Boston submitted designs. Henry Hobson Richardson won the competition, and the building became the first of many library projects Richardson worked on.

The building was completed in 1878, although the library was not officially opened until the following year. Along with books, the library housed a small museum of paintings in the octagonal section to the right of the main entry. The building's most striking element is its tower which contains a thirty-six step staircase. Also of note are the varying textures and ornamental stone carvings which are concentrated near the main entrance and the octagonal museum section.

In 1976, 100 years from its conception, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places. It still houses the Woburn Public Library and can be visited during its regular hours of operation.

Location
45 Pleasant Street
Woburn, MA 01801

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