Baxter Memorial Library

Baxter Memorial Library was given to the town in 1908 by former Portland Mayor James Phinney Baxter. Designed by Otis E. Moulton, the Georgian/Colonial Revival pink granite building has black granite quoins and banding with yellow-painted wood columns and trim.

Exterior features of the addition, including window configurations, color choices, and roofing materials, were adapted from the original building. A light court allows two full-height sunlit stories and reverses traditional landscaping, so that library visitors see a succession of terraced plantings from inside the building.

And while the old library building fronts on the main street, the sheltered rotunda entrance opens off a new parking circle that also serves the municipal center and the historical society.

The designers’ aim was to keep the profile of the addition relatively modest, so as not to challenge the lines of the historic building. The restored reading room, with Baxter’s portrait over the fireplace, still has original red oak woodwork and furniture.

Where the old library’s spaces were compact, highly finished, and formally delineated, the addition is large, open, and flexible.