Imagine my delight on a recent visit to Boston MA when I found that our hotel was just round the corner from Boston Public Library! Paying a visit was by no means an eccentric “busman’s holiday” as it is a tourist destination in its own right. It actually reminded me a lot of Glasgow’s Mitchell Library, in that it consisted of a historic building with a 1970s building connected at the back – however, the grandeur has been seriously notched up in Boston.
The original McKim Building (above) was opened in 1895. It is built round a beautiful courtyard:
It has twin lions of unpolished Siena marble on the main staircase and magnificent murals:
Bates Hall, the main reference reading hall, is a joy to behold:
The new building just looks like any large lending library inside. Here it is outside – the yellow paint on the road is the finishing line for the Boston Marathon and some of the surrounding shops were damaged in this year’s bombing:
The library also has a café and a separate restaurant near the courtyard and is well prepared for tourists with maps and information leaflets available. Well worth a visit if you ever find yourself in Boston.