Renew That!

One of the country’s oldest libraries reopens in Poughkeepsie this month

Bookworms, rejoice: Poughkeepsie’s Adriance Memorial Library, which has been under construction since September 2007, is set to reopen October 1 — and it’s bigger and better than ever.

The third-oldest library in the country moves from its temporary location at the former YMCA building on Bancroft Road into its original space on Market and Noxon Streets in the City of Poughkeepsie. The bulk of the 1898 structure’s renovation took place at the rear of the building, where a four-story addition replaces the old children’s room with 22 computer stations and popular print and DVD collections. Forward-thinking guests will enjoy the geothermal temperature system, elevators, and wireless Internet access throughout the building, among other upgrades.

Longtime patrons, fear not: Though modernized, the library’s much-needed facelift retains elements of the structure’s original Classical Revival style. The emblematic rotunda and Tennessee marble façade of the main building remain intact (albeit pressure-washed), the interiors repaired, and the 19th-century hardwood floors (previously concealed under 50-year-old tile) restored.

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A celebration for the renovated library is planned for October 18 — the 111th anniversary of its original dedication, held by Poughkeepsie’s Adriance siblings to honor their parents, John Adriance (developer of the buckeye plow), and Mary Adriance, a philanthropist. For more information, call 845-485-3445 or visit


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