The Converse Memorial Building, also known as Converse Memorial Library, is a public library building designed by noted American architect H. H. Richardson. From 1885 to 1996, when construction of a new library addition was completed, the building was also home to the Malden Public Library. The Converse Memorial Building is located at 36 Salem Street, Malden, Massachusetts.
Libraries, Buildings - Novelty / Interesting
The building was a gift of Elisha S. and Mary D. Converse in memory of their murdered son, Frank Eugene Converse who was the victim of the first bank robbery/murder in North America. It was constructed 1883-1885 in an overall L-shape, with a facade of brown Longmeadow sandstone, a tower rising from the L's inner corner, and a heavily arched entry porch set within the L's short arm. The main library room is 50 x 36 feet and finished in elaborately carved white oak with a high, vaulted ceiling. Its furniture was designed by Richardson and manufactured by the Boston firm of Albert H. Davenport Company.
The Converse Memorial Building is the last of Richardson's library designs and generally considered among his finest works. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987.