In 1878, Margaret Bromfield Blanchard founded the Bromfield School in Harvard, MA. The building was designed by Peabody and Stearns in the beautiful Queen Anne style. In 1960, it was home to just 100 students. A new Bromfield School was built just next to it that had a gymnasium, and the high school moved out of the old school officially in 2003. In 2007, the building reopened as the Harvard Public Library.
The old Bromfield School is beautiful, and due to its proximity to the center of town and all of Harvard’s schools, it is a vibrant meeting place for people of all ages. They have a children’s room, a teen room, and silent rooms. Oh, and down the hill behind it, past the athletic fields is a beautiful pond, Bare Hill Pond. People row, paddle board, and even sail a bit out there. I will have to go back and snap some pics this summer.
Above are two photos of the exterior front. Looks like the Mass version of Hogwarts right?? Off to the right and back there is an addition to expand the library. I was there around 3:30 and the library was full of adults,kids, and many students. Students in Harvard can walk just a short distance to the library to do homework after school.
This is a reading room in the library, there were probably 3 rooms that not only housed books, but were silent spaces for studying, reading, and reflection. This reading room is a half circle, the same half circle you see from the outside in the front.
Here are some of the historic items set aside in a foyer of the library, a lovely grandfather clock, a portrait of Margaret Bromfield Blanchard, and the wooden sign declaring the purpose of this beautiful building.
There is a room upstairs used for functions/concerts called Volunteers Hall. They did a Sound of Music singalong in December that I would have loved to go to if I hadn’t gotten a root canal that afternoon hahaha. I did end up getting a couple books- All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot and Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams. I read All Creatures Great and Small by Herriot a few years back and just never continued, and I read Williams’s first 2 books which were both pretty good.
I love libraries. I love book sharing of course because its free, but the buildings themselves are often repurposed or given to the town and have rich histories. Harvard’s public library is an important part of the community, I can only hope that wherever Jon and me end up settling will have such a nice, supported library.