Best Library in Which to Read The Fountainhead - 2005
Ross-Broadway Branch Library
There's a special ambience about the Ross-Broadway Branch Library, a certain feeling that if you close your eyes, you might open them to find Frank Lloyd Wright (reputedly the inspiration for Ayn Rand's Fountainhead character, Howard Roark). The Ross-Broadway branch was built in 1951 in the Prairie School style that Wright popularized, and it featured stunning woodwork, stained-glass windowpanes, made-to-order reading benches and bespoke burgundy benches. After more than fifty years in service, the library was getting a little tattered around the edges, but recent renovations restored some woodwork and window glass, added fixtures and counters, and modified the entryway for easier access for the disabled. The worn, frame-banging entry doors were finally replaced with sturdy, silent hardwood ones in a repro-Wright style. So silent are they now that, if you listen closely, you can almost catch the faint echo of Gary Cooper's voice giving a Roark soliloquy.