Terre Haute Postcards - Emeline Fairbanks Memorial Library (3)

Terre Haute Postcards - Emeline Fairbanks Memorial Library (3)

More postcards from my collection...

Emeline Fairbanks Memorial Library, Terre Haute

Emeline Fairbanks Memorial Library

This unused postcard has the printed text...

Published by A. Herz, Terre Haute, Ind.

I have a copy of this postcard that were posted in Terre Haute on October 9th, 1909 and another also posted in Terre Haute on February 2nd, 1909.

Emeline Fairbanks Memorial Library

Emeline Fairbanks Memorial Library

This unused, unusually sized postcard, 6.5" x 2.25" rather than the more usual 5.25" x 3.25", has the printed text...

The Art Mfg. Co., Zanesville, O.

First conceived to honour his mother, Emeline, Crawford Fairbanks, businessman and philanthropist, offered to build a new public library on February 2, 1903 and offered an $80,000 contribution. Just 3 months later, on May 5th, the city announced the purchase of a lot on Seventh and Eagle Streets - the actual address is 222 N. 7th Street. Designed by William Homer Floyd and C. E. Scott in classical Beaux Arts style, it was constructed by the The Modern Construction Company of Terre Haute from Indiana limestone. The laying of the cornerstone was the responsibility of the Grand Lodge of Masons and took place on August 10, 1904. The event included a parade downtown with music, prayer and orations at the site.

The informal opening and dedication of the completed building was on April 29, 1906, but here was some delay in the use of the building due to a legal dispute about ownership. On August 11, 1906, the formal opening of the library building to the public, under the jurisdiction of the Terre Haute School Board, was announced at an evening reception. It was several days later that the Emeline Fairbanks Memorial Library was opened for regular business.

The library served the community until 1979 when Vigo County Public Library was built at Library Square and the old building was acquired by Indiana State University. The building was remodeled in 1984 and converted into studio and classroom space for ISU Department of Art. A reception was held for the newly renovated and renamed Fairbanks Hall on January 22, 1984.

Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899) was a French artist known for her realistic paintings of animals. In 1863, her painting 'Horse Fair' was purchased by Cornelius Vanderbilt for $55,000. It now hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Rosa Bonheur was also known in her time as a non-traditionalist, often dressing in man's clothing. Her stained glass portrait can still be found in the rotunda, still dominated by a glass dome, of the Fairbanks Hall.

For more information on the history of the building see the ISU Archives.

This page created 25th February 2010, last modified 12th March 2010

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