The Lucius Beebe Memorial Library in Wakefield, Massachusetts was the most recent library I visited this summer and was the closet to where I live, plus the most beautiful of all I've seen. From the minute I walked in, I was in awe. The library is similar to many of the other libraries that I've visited, in that it has part of its original brick building and has been enlarged from its original structure. For a Saturday in August, this library was rather busy. After introducing myself to the librarian, he took me to the closed room where the genealogy and local histories are held. There were two people in there, but I've no idea if they were researching. As you go through the pictures, I think you'll agree that the original red room is outstanding, as is their collection. Can't wait to go back to work on the many lines I have in that town.
From The Library History at http://www.wakefieldlibrary.org/about/about-the-library/
The building has a large skylit entrance hall flanked by two reading rooms, each up a short flight of marble stairs. The north reading room is graced by fourteen medallions depicting famous literary figures. Both reading rooms include working marble fireplaces, built-in wooden bookshelves, and elegant Adam style plaster detailing on the walls and ceilings. The central lobby has a black and white marble floor and cast iron stair railings with urn motifs that echo the stone urns on the building’s facade. The beehive, a symbol of the Beebe family, is used throughout the building as a decorative motif and was chosen in 1998 as the Library’s logo.
Original front room, now used as a reading room (opposite the red room below).This is where the genealogy and history books are held. Great room for quiet research. I didn't want to disturb the two people, so I didn't walk around...next time I will.
Original upstairs room.