In 1902, the Holyoke Public Library opened in its new home at 335 Maple Street. It was described in local news reports as one of the "finest examples of Greek architecture in the country."
The spacious building was made of Indiana limestone and white glazed brick, with a red tile roof. Soaring Ionic columns flanked the main entrance. In addition to providing space for 66,000 books, it contained reading rooms, meeting rooms, and exhibit spaces.
A new library brought many changes: a Children’s Room, an open stack wing, and a new book classification system. Within five years, book circulation had doubled. The new Librarian, Frank Willcox, also eliminated the practice of reserving use of certain books for privileged patrons.
In 1926, Burlingham Schurr was hired as full-time curator of the Library’s Natural History Museum. He expanded the collection and actively promoted its use in education. Some current library patrons still remember being fascinated by the well-designed exhibits and the live snake. In 1959, Wistariahurst Museum opened and the natural history collections were moved there.
The plans by Finegold Alexander called for renovating much of the historic building.
This Preservation Magazine article includes more details on the renovation.