OSWEGO — The Oswego City Library, the Heritage Foundation of Oswego County and Oswego City Historian, Mark Slosek announced that the Oswego City Library has been awarded a roadside marker by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation.
The roadside marker indicates that the Oswego Library was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. The dedication and unveiling ceremony will take place in front of the main entrance of the library at noon on Thursday, July 8.
The Pomeroy Foundation strongly believes that historic markers play an important role in local historic preservation. The markers educate the public and foster tourism, which provides economic benefits to communities. Susan Hughes a Pomeroy Ambassador will be present, representing the Pomeroy Foundation.
The Oswego City Library is located at 120 E. Second St., Oswego. It was built in 1855 and opened in 1857. Wealthy landowner and abolitionist Gerrit Smith donated $25,000 to build this public library. He stipulated three conditions: 1. That it should be constructed on Oswego’s east side, which had experienced a most destructive fire in July 1853; 2. That it be open to anyone, regardless of race or sex; 3. That it not be named after him.
Hewes and Rose, an architectural firm from Syracuse, designed the building in the “Norman” style. Its towers, corbels, and crenellated battlements reflect those of a medieval castle. The Albany firm of Mendel, Mesick and Cohen restored the building in the 1970s. Efforts to preserve and restore the deterioration that plagued this historic building continued over the next 20 years. In the early years of the 21st Century a comprehensive renovation project that included adding additional space to the original structure was successfully undertaken. It is now the oldest building in New York state (and one of the oldest in the country) originally designed as a library building.
The public is invited to attend the upcoming dedication ceremony.