I’ve just spent twenty minutes rummaging around in my “book nest.” It’s a library in my mind, but the room’s remote location behind closed doors keeps it ever disordered and not worthy of a more dignified reference. I was searching for my copy of The Decoration of Houses, a book Edith Wharton co-authored with architect Ogden Codman in 1898.
Nowhere to be found.
I’m looking for the book because I’m touring the old structures featured in Historic Churches and Homes of Maine this summer. With a recent tour of the Rockland Public Library, only three Maine Carnegies remain on my list. The Maine Carnegie library tour is almost complete.
Rockland’ s is a beautiful Carnegie and the addition completed in 2002 is elegantly unseen when viewing the edifice from Union Street. There is a natural transition from old to new library, with a well-preserved curved round circulation desk in the center of the original building. I do not know if this is original to the Carnegie structure; sadly, the librarians working the day I visited were busy and unable to answer my questions about the library. A bit harried they were, so it seemed.
Some of the original structure’s ceilings show evidence of water damage. In the 2016 election, voters in the town of Rockland approved a $1.1 million dollar bond ordinance to repair this historic building, including water and moisture problems.
Libraries in Fairfield, Guilford, and Vinalhaven will be added to the house tour spreadsheet.
My regular travel companion, Handy, says visiting old churches and houses is boring. He won’t be joining me so I’m making plans a la Lady Alone Traveler.
On January 8, 1955, local newspaper writer and lady alone Eloise Jordan wrote a column titled “Back to College.” She was apparently taking a class and spending time at Bates College. She says “sometimes there seems to be no way to catapult one’s self from that cut and dried routine. Then without warning a miracle came to pass and my whole schedule has changed.”
Miraculously catapulted to change like Jordan, I’ll also be channeling her as I go “skimming over the new highway in a new car” and arriving at my destinations “quick like a jet.”
At a time when so much attention is focused on the destroyers of all things beautiful and graceful, it’s good to be reminded of just what is beautiful and graceful. Thank you!
No, thank you for recognizing my intent. I’ve been drinking deeply at the well of late 19th and early 20th century buildings and am always intoxicated by the beauty. In the spirit of promoting more beauty and less ugly, I write on. Pleasant and pretty day to you!