Through these red doors is one of the most beautiful buildings I've ever been in, The Boston Athenaeum. From their website, "Founded in 1807, the Boston Athenæum is one of the oldest and most distinguished independent libraries and cultural institutions in the United States. For nearly half a century the Athenæum was the unchallenged center of intellectual life in Boston, and by 1851, had become one of the largest libraries in the United States. Today its collections comprise over half a million volumes, with particular strengths in Boston history, New England state and local history, biography, English and American literature, and the fine and decorative arts."
This was my 6th visit, but the first time to tour all five floors and basement during their annual Open House. Other visits were for first floor viewings, a book reading, a small exhibit to see Daniel Chester French: The Female Form Revealed last year, and a private short tour when I met with an archivist regarding my gg-grandfather's job there as the Librarian. I am not a member because of the cost ($345 annually for two) and the distance factor.
This is the place to go for genealogy and history research, I believe. Just check out the holdings and library tabs. One young man was taking a break in an aisle and was quite excited to see a 1918 city directory for New York City, he didn't know those existed!
The photos are in no particular order, and at the end of this post, there is a flyer cover and a map of the rooms. It was a rainy day, so some photos are a little dark.
Once you enter, you are assigned a box for pocketbooks, none allowed in the building. I had box #71, and I know there are more than that. Then proceed into the Bow Room (usually for members only) to register (below).
There were at least two patios, view is overlooking the Granary Burial Ground, and Boston.
Statue of Nathaniel Bowditch by Robert Ball Hughes (above and below) 2nd floor.
The drum (above and below) houses over 80,000 books. Staff retrieves these books.
Following three photos taken on 3 different floors. View is of the Granary Burial Ground.
On a quiet day in July 2016 (above and below).
Note: I found three exciting things during my visit, and will share them in another post.