The first publicly funded library in Revere was established at a town meeting held on April 29, 1880. In June of that year, the town meeting voted to open a public library on the first floor of the Town Hall. On November 6th 1880 the Revere Public Library began operating. Fire destroyed Revere Town Hall in 1897 and heavily damaged the library. The library was forced to relocate to temporary quarters until 1899 when it moved back into the basement of the newly reconstructed Town hall.
During the period of time following the destruction of the old Town Hall and its small library room, the Revere Women’s Club in cooperation with the local newspaper, the Revere Journal, began a campaign to construct a new library building. In 1901, Revere recieved a grant from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in the amount of $20,000 for the construction of a new library building. This generous gift from the steel magnate Carnegie allowed the town of Revere to construct its present library building. Funds raised by the Women’s Club and other gifts were used to furnish the two main reading rooms of the new library. With one reading room dedicated to the adult collection and the other reserved for children’s books.
The Library was dedicated and officially opened on November 18, 1903. The library building represents the Georgian Revival and American Renaissance styles of architecture. The location of this building, in a residential neighborhood, works to showplace the elaborate detail of the building. Both its location and architecture play an important role in creating an impressive, interesting institution which, in itself, attracts persons to admire and visit the Revere Public Library.
The library building holds a significant place in the history of the City of Revere. It is an excellent example of the freedom of design and commitment to service that the Carnegie libraries across America attempted to represent. The interior of this landmark building illustrates no less grandeur of style and attention to craftsmanship. The hand rubbed oak paneling and millwork are of a day gone by, and anxiously await the opportunity to once again be part of an active and responsive public library.
The Revere Public Library remains one of the few Carnegie buildings to have never undergone expansion and it is hoped that a tasteful, well planned addition will make this jewel of a building shine brighter in its new setting.