It is the first absolutely fire-proof building possessed by the college-its walls, roof and floors of masonry and iron will, however, dod tless fix the standard for any future library buildings, should they be required, and doubtless will influence the donors of other buildings to pay greater regard to the enduring character of their gifts.
In its arrangements and accomodations for books, also, it departs from the old type of libraries. The former structure resembled a church with lofty columns and arches, the alcoves and cases for books perched on gatteries or balconies. This system while effective for spectular purposes, was a very bad one for a library where books were to be well cared for. Those in the upper part of the room were inaccessible on account of the number of stairs to be climbed and at the same time were injured by the great heat. The scheme of the new library is radically different. The structure is divided into seperate lofts about sixteen feet in height. Bookcases, from seven to eight feet high, cover the floors in every direction, saving only the necessary space for passages to reach them. Above the tops of the cases the walls are pierced with ample windows, lighting very fully all the cases. Light swift-running lifts will connect the delivery department with each floor, where assistants will attend to calls. It is characteristic of the building that its scheme and usefulness are nowhere sacrificed for external effect but that the most desirable arrangement has always been adopted with dignilied and appropriate architectural treatment.
CORNELL.The new library building now being erected at Cornell will be the finest building of the kind in America. It will stand on the very summit of the hill and will be the most conspicuous object on the campus. The first story will be of Michigan red stone, and the entire upper part of Ohio white stone. The main building will be in the form of a cross with a tower twenty feet square and one hundred and seventy-two feet high at the end of the arms. In the tower will be placed the university clock and chimes. The ground floor will be taken up by four seminary rooms and an auditorium with seating capacity for one thousand people. The main entrance opens directly into a vestibule with a large open fire-place. The reading room is one hundred and twenty feet long, seventy-two wide and thirty eight feet high. The other rooms and the stacks are proportionately large. There will be room for nearly 400,000 volumes. The entire building will be finished inside with marble, iron and glass so as to be perfectly fireproof. The library is built as a memorial to Jennie McGraw-Fiske.