George Peabody was a wealthy Massachusetts philanthropist who dedicated the library to the citizens of Baltimore in appreciation of their “kindness and hospitality”. Located in the Mount Vernon historical district, the library is now part of the Johns Hopkins University Library system and contains over 300,000 volumes in its collection. It is open to the public, anyone can go in and enjoy the beauty of the building and their amazing collection of rare books.
The library is constructed of cast iron, with a black and white marble floor. Rising above this atrium styled space are 6 floors with decorative iron railings and gold-leaf detail. Greek and Roman architectural elements are seen throughout the space and blended in a beautiful way. The result is a stunning space that will literally take your breath away. This library is available for special events and would be a wonderful venue for a wedding.
Fascinating things that I saw and learned during my visit:
Foredge painting -When a book is given as a memorable gift, a special touch is added, the front edge of each page is painted revealing a beautiful scene.
Ackermann’s Repository-A periodical from the early 1800s had great influence on English taste in fashion, architecture and literature, illustrations were hand painted. Essentially, the “Vogue” of the 1800’s. Interesting!
A book from 1577 printed on “rag” paper, yes old linens were used to make the paper. Illustrations were carved in wood and stamped onto the paper. Looking at the armadillo below, you can see the hard work and detail in the carving.
It really is a remarkable place, plan a visit for yourself soon!