Statement of Significance (as of designation - July 17, 1991):
This building (1881) is one of the very few remaining intact examples of the work of George B. Post (1837-1913). Aside from being the first major building on the East Coast to use locally made terra cotta ornamentation, it also employed an unusual and innovative structural system: while the load bearing walls were traditional construction, Post used iron rods as suspension for the 4th floor to allow for free-flowing open space in the library on the 3rd floor. The interiors are in the Queen Anne style and display handcarved woodwork, custom bronze hardware, stained glass, and Minton tile floors. The architectural terra cotta ornament and portrait heads are the work of the sculptor Olin Levy Warner.