Monday, November 7, 2011

Another Sister Under the Eaves




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.

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