“…I went down to the library… you know the big one way downtown…”

“Muse Blues” – Loudon Wainwright III (1972)

A set of 16 photographs I took of the interiors of the Cleveland Public Library Main Branch on Superior Avenue in downtown. Another extraordinary building designed by the Cleveland architectural firm of Walker and Weeks. The five story building was completed in 1925.

Photos taken August 9, 2014


4 responses

  1. What a wonderful building! Just beautiful.
    Now: were you being artful and shooting around patrons or is it really that quiet?


    August 17, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    • And you are a former librarian so this is high praise coming from you! I shot these on a Saturday afternoon and it was rather beautiful outside.. not sure why I was drawn inside on this day.. but I did meander through the streets a bit, as well. I always ask if I am “allowed” to take photographs when I enter into a building, even if public… When I asked at the library, the security guard gave me the thumbs up, as long as I didn’t photograph the patrons or staff.. so I did stick to that one rule that they gave me(with one exception.) I did get yelled at while making my rounds through the old hallways– the one photo with the gates closed partially… I maneuvered them to that position, and you would have thought I was spray painting the walls, or something equally destructive. I apologized for “touching” the gates, but I did managed to capture the shot that I was looking for 🙂


      August 19, 2014 at 3:55 pm

  2. It was well worth the scolding to get that shot–it’s a good one. (I think the ALA requires a certain number of cranks on every library staff.)
    I went through your series again and this is just a beautiful beautiful building. My favorite shot is the staffer at her desk–the color and lighting are so rich and warm, but it is her presence that invites us in, that lets us know that this is a place for people and not just a book museum.
    The interior here reminds me of the courthouse in Green Bay–I keep reminding myself that I should go and shoot it and now I think you have nudged me to action.


    August 19, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    • Me thinks you need to get to Green Bay with your camera(s)! Thank you for your always great comments 🙂


      August 24, 2014 at 4:25 pm

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