The “Old” Main Library. The Main Library has occupied a prominent position in downtown Cincinnati since 1874, when a new building was constructed at 629 Vine Street. Considered the most magnificent public library building in the United States at the time, “Old Main” featured one element similar to today’s library: a towering atrium with a skylight ceiling. Of the dramatic atrium,Harpers Weekly said “The first impression made upon the mind on entering this hall is the immense capacity for storing books in its five tiers of alcoves, and then the eye is attracted and gratified by its graceful and carefully studied architecture…” The building closed in 1955, when the “New Main Library,”located at 800 Vine Street, opened. More detailed information about the history of the building can be found in Free & Public: One Hundred and Fifty Years at the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County by John Fleischman.
Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
800 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202-2009
Reading Futility Closet , I was somewhat resentful to read these two quotes
“A man ought to read just as inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good.” — Samuel Johnson
“Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.” — Plato
because I think any sort of knowledge gained can be useful, and things learned by compulsion are no less useful than those gathered by ones own volition. But then they redeemed themselves by following up with this quote by Oscar Wilde:
“Oh! it is absurd to have a hard and fast rule about what one should read and what one shouldn’t. More than half of modern culture depends on what one shouldn’t read.”
A hard-and-fast rule goes in both directions: read neither enforced text or works of your own choosing to the exclusion of the other. Read with the full embrace of anything available.
Shakespeare & Co Books in Berkeley has a refreshing window display up right now. It’s interesting to see which people stop to read it.