As I indicated in my previous post, on Monday of last week I visited the public library in Merrill, WI designed by the architectural firm of Claude & Starck. It is one of a group of libraries referred to as the "seven sisters" because they share a common style and similar ornamental friezes under their eaves. On a trip to St. Louis on Friday of the same week I passed by the exit for Rochelle, Illinois which is home to another of the "seven sisters", and I stopped to take a look. A postcard of the library (now the Flagg-Rochelle Public Library District) along with a couple of photographs I took are shown above. As with the Merrill library there is a significant expansion which has been tastefully integrated with the original building. A website about the Claude & Starck prairie school libraries cites a publication by library director Barbara Kopplin titled "Sisters" Under the Eaves written in 1989. Kopplin notes that Claude & Starck provided a basic design and offered a variety of option for their prairie school buildings. Options included bay windows, ornamental friezes, fireplaces, and leaded windows among others. The library in Rochelle opted for all of the options.
Burton E. Stevenson: ALA Representative in Europe
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