Waltham Public Library (1915)

Waltham Public Library

In 1865, Waltham‘s Free Town Library was established as a merger of the earlier libraries of the Waltham Social Club, the Rumford Institute, and the Agricultural Library Association. It was initially located above a bank and, from 1880, in a building at the corner of Charles and Moody Streets. The current library was built in 1914-1915 and was designed in the Colonial Revival style by the Boston firm of Loring and Leland. The builders were Horton and Hemingway of Boston. To make way for the new Library, a tavern, built in 1672 and known as the Central House, was torn down. The library is also known as the Francis Buttrick Library, after the building‘s benefactor. Francis Buttrick, who came to Waltham in 1838 and became wealthy in the lumber and real estate businesses. He left a $60,000 bequest for a library in 1894, but due to legal issues the money had not been available for use for many years. Through the accrual of interest, the bequest had grown to $123,731 by 1914. The Library was expanded in the 1990s. Merry Christmas from Historic Buildings of Massachusetts!

Waltham City Hall (1926)

Waltham City Hall

The Colonial Revival-style City Hall of Waltham, designed by Kilham, Hopkins and Greeling, was built in 1926 and opened and dedicated in 1927. It stands on the old site of Rumford Hall, a building constructed a century earlier, in 1827, to house the Rumford Institute. Founded in 1826, the Institute was a lyceum, with lectures and classes in the arts and sciences for the female mill workers at the Boston Manufacturing Company, which built the Hall. An early instructor at the Institute was the Unitarian minister and educator, Bernard Whitman. The institute also established Waltham’s first circulating library. In 1854, the Rumford Building was sold to the Town of Waltham for use as Town Hall, eventually being replaced by the current structure. Waltham City Hall has a limestone facade.