Library ~ Rogers Free Library, Bristol

Rogers Free Library
525 Hope St.
Bristol, Rhode Island
401-253-6948

Bear and I visited the Rogers Free Library a few months ago, on an overcast afternoon.

It's a beautiful building, with the original part built in brownstone, giving it a very solid and sturdy feel.
Bristol Library original section

The brick-faced extension is also quite beautiful. Although the two are of different styles, they're merged together quite nicely by using brownstone details. The archway over the Hope Street entrance also combines brick and brownstone, and softens the connection. It appears that the building may have previously housed a furniture company.

Bristol Library New section
Oblique view of brick extension

Bristol Library entrance
archway over entrance

Inside, you can see where the exterior wall of the original library was.
Bristol Library
I love when designers do this!


The library was named for Robert Rogers (1792-1870), one of the wealthiest citizens of his time  in Bristol. Rogers amassed an extensive collection of books. In 1877, seven years after his death, his wife Maria (nee DeWolf) used 4,000 of them to start the library, which she named for him. She also donated 1,200 books that she and her sister Charlotte had purchased.

Today the library is part of the Ocean State Library group, which links nearly all the public libraries in Rhode Island. Of course, it's been modernized. It's bright and airy, with a brightly-colored children's section.

Bristol Library Stacks
Bristol Library Childrens room

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