The Reed Memorial Library is located at the intersection of Routes 6 and 52 in the Hamlet of Carmel, across from Lake Gleneida. Convenient free parking is available in the Gilead Presbyterian Church parking lot as well as on Seminary Hill Road.
Reed Memorial Library
1733 Route 6
Carmel, NY 10512
ABOUT THE LIBRARY
In 1881 a group of friends and neighbors formed the Literary Union of Carmel, the first organization in Putnam County to establish a public library. The Library’s books were stored in private residences and offices throughout the Hamlet and the Literary Union met regularly in members’ homes. Meetings centered on literary and cultural themes and almost always concluded with entertainment – singing, stories, skits, music and refreshments.
For thirty years Literary Union members met in various places throughout the Hamlet, packed up books and moved them from one available office space to the next, dreaming about the day the Library would have a permanent home.
In 1913 that dream was to become a reality. The Reed Memorial Library was built in memory of William Belden Reed by his wife, Arietta Crane Reed, on land donated by the Ryder family, all early Literary Union supporters.
The New York City architectural firm of Pryor and Gaylor designed the building. In planning the design it was emphasized that the structure had to house a library as well as provide a meeting place for the community. By creating an irregularly shaped structure with its center room being visible from the stacks and both reading rooms, the architects succeeded in providing the Hamlet not only with a striking although conservatively designed Tudor Revival building but also with an exceptionally functional library that maintains its functionality to the present day.
The Library was constructed by the Miller-Reed Construction Company of New York City. The masonry work was subcontracted to Genero Ventresca of the neighboring town of Southeast; the stone itself came from the Lake Gilead area about three miles away. The interior has extensive wood paneling, a Gothic Revival fireplace in the children’s reading room and classical columns that separate the oval lobby from the main stacks. The building retains its original decorative features and all of the major interior spaces retain their original early twentieth century institutional furnishings which show the pronounced influence of the then popular Arts and Crafts Movement.
The Reed Memorial Library was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 for its architectural significance.
In 2013 voters approved the establishment of the Reed Memorial Library District. Reed’s century-long commitment to providing ever-expanding services in an inviting, friendly community center will continue thanks to the support of its community.
Beautifully constructed and maintained, the Reed Memorial Library continues the work of the early Literary Union by bringing cultural, educational and recreational opportunities to the Carmel community.
The Library offers for loan a large selection of the latest books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, audio books , e-books, and passes to popular museums as well as streaming and downloadable video, music and audio books.
Public computers and wireless Internet access are available. The Library hosts a continuous schedule of programs and special events emphasizing literacy enhancement and community learning.
Reed Memorial Library will provide the community with free access to cultural, informational, and recreational resources and learning opportunities in a warm, welcoming and historic environment.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Loretta Burke, Cynthia Katz (President), Peter Katz, Kate Mackie, Aloysius Stedina, Carla Taylor and Vickie Causa