The only Romanesque building in Acton, Mass., the Acton Library was built in 1889 as a gift from the Hon. William Allen Wilde (1827-1902).
Boston architects H.V. Hartwell and William Richardson designed the building (as well as the Hancock School, which featured a few weeks ago). It cost $30,000 to build.
An Acton native who lived in Malden, Wilde built the library and stocked it with 4,000 books. He was an educator, teaching and serving as superintendent in Malden Schools; he was also a successful Boston publisher.
Ida Hale was the town’s first librarian, working until 1896. The most well-known librarian, however, was Arthur F. Davis (1876-1952), who was well-known for his paintings, some of which still hang in the library. Davis lived across the street and was librarian from 1902-1945.
A large addition was constructed in 1965-1967, and another (where Snickers is posing) was added in 1998.