September 7, 2017

 Troy Public Library

This is not the entrance.  

Neither is this.

The building I had always assumed was the Troy library is not, in fact, the library.  This was after getting lost just trying to park.  “You have reached your destination” said Siri as I drove under Russel Sage College.  Um, no.  (Rte 2 goes under Second Street).  The giant white building is the court house, and the building next to that is the Supreme Court law library… then you have the Troy Public Library.  This massive old building (well, American old, built in 1897) is built in an oversized, opulent style,  with marble stairs, stained glass windows and roman pillars.  A true temple of knowledge.  It has that faint “old building” smell familiar in museums and used book shops.  It is full of awkward little nooks and crannies, interesting to explore, but not fully accessible.  While historical buildings are definitely worth preserving and sharing with the public, trying to run a modern library in one is a logistical nightmare.  The library director has had to fight to get an elevator installed, and there is so much more that needs to be done, to keep the building from falling apart, to make spaces for all the things that a library does now that never occurred to the builders, from computer labs to event stages.  Doors are left open to allow air flow through the building, which makes me wonder what this is like in the winter.

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