505 JANES AVENUE
HOYT PUBLIC LIBRARY
Architect: Van Brunt and Howe, Boston, Massachusetts
1921 Addition: Edward L. Tilton
1960 Addition: Frederick W. Wigen and Associates, Saginaw, Michigan
1995 Renovations and restoration: Wigen, Tincknell, Meyer and Associates, Saginaw, Michigan
In 1882 Jesse Hoyt, a resident of New York who had been instrumental in the development of the city of East Saginaw, passed away. His will designated $100,000 to construct, develop and endow a non-circulating reference library. It took several years for the Board of Trustees to establish the library. Working with noted librarian William F. Poole, they selected an architect through an invitational competition. The most prominent American architects of the period were invited - Henry Hobson Richardson, McKim Mead and White, Peabody and Stearns. The committee selected a design by Henry Van Brunt, a well-known Boston architect.
The exterior walls of the Romanesque Revival building are constructed from Bayport stone from quarries in Michigan’s thumb region and are trimmed with carved Jacobsville sandstone from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The design of the library is directly based on the theories and principles put forth by William F. Poole. Established as a non-circulating reference library, books were housed in a vault that was located in the eastern portion of the building. Today the circulation area is located in this area. The main entrance faced South Jefferson.
In 1921 the library was merged with the Public Libraries of Saginaw and the building was extensively remodeled. The main entrance was moved to Janes Street, the book vault became the circulation area, new stacks were constructed on the North side of the building and a reference room with a vaulted ceiling was constructed on the East side of the building.
Since 1921, the building has undergone a number of additional renovations. In 1960 an addition was added on the East side of the building. In 1997 the building was restored and renovated. For over a century the library has been an important, vibrant part of Saginaw.
Mills, James Cooke. History of Saginaw County Michigan Saginaw, Michigan: Seeman & Peters, 1918. I:304 -307.
"Harriet Ames Engaged as Librarian." Saginaw Evening News 20 November 1888. 7.
Russell-Hitchcock, Henry. The Architecture of H.H. Richardson and His Times. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1986. 285.
Breisch, Kenneth A. Henry Hobson Richardson and the Small Public Library in America: A Study in Typology. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1997.
Trombley, Thomas F. “Invitation to Architects: The Competition to Design the Hoyt Library.”
Saginaw County Historian.1983. 129 -135.
“Merger Given Approval by School Board.” Saginaw News Courier 20 November 1919. 13.
Hoyt Library Construction Papers. Local History and Genealogy Collection, Hoyt Library.