Riverside Library

From the Windsor Star May 17, 1954.

    The Ontario Department of Education has tentatively approved plans for Riverside’s proposed new $55,000 public library, pictured above in a sketch prepared by the Windsor firm of Johnson and Mcwhinnie, architects. The project is still before town council for approval, as civic authorities seek a market for $50,000 in debentures which would be required to finance construction. Expected to be located on a Wyandotte street site, between Homedale and Patrice, the ultra-modern one-story structure would contain some 3,150 square feet of floor space and facilities for 11,500 books. Hardwood trim, an acoustic ceiling and recessed fluorescent lighting are included in plans for interior construction.

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For the life of me, I can’t remember the old library. Was this the one that was built? It was knocked down in 1995, and replaced with the one above that occupies the same site.

Any memories of the old Library?


14 Comments on Riverside Library

  1. Pretty much yes; with small differences that was the one that was built. To be picky, the original was across Victor Drive on the south side, where the parking lot is now. I spent a fair amount of time there, but the ‘Our Town’ (V2) book helped jog my memory.

  2. I{ rather like the new one over the mid century building. While there was some great architecture in the 1950s (the last of that century imo), the drawing above is bland and boring, while the new one adds a bit of drama.

  3. I remember the old library quite well and it did look pretty much like the drawing there. I like how the new one incorporates that mast of a ship look. The old library was on the southwest corner of Wyandotte and Victor (across the street from the current library).

  4. I remember the Riverside branch being alrger than the Seminole one. Around the time the new library was built, the Seminole branch was also given some aesthetic changes. Both were similar in design.

  5. The Old Riverside Library was a pretty dreary place if I remember. It wasn’t much bigger than your typical convenience store. It was cramped, had a limited collection of books and smelled like a cellar.

  6. I remember the old library well in the 1950s and early 60s.
    When my sister and I were little our dad would drive us, at least once a week; when we were older it was a nice bike ride. I was at an age I loved that place … there was always something new to discover through the books there.

  7. Lisa,

    “Our Town” is a book by retired Windsor Star writer Marty Gervais. If I remember right, it’s a collection of stories from the people of the city he has encountered.
    He also published a fantastic book called “The Rumrunners: A prohibition scrapbook”

  8. In the 1960s we went to the Riverside Library often. It was run by two ladies and there was a low, round table and tiny chairs and a number of picture books for the small children. My youngest, aged 3 or 4, loved it and would say “‘ets go at the berry”. It was a treat.

  9. Ah! The smell! How well I remember that whiff of mildewy books and old linoleum and something I can only describe as a churchy smell, like the smell of life going out of old wood. I remember the ladies too. They were there when I was a kid, and when the library closed. Loved that library in all its inadequacy. But the new one is tons better. On the right day if you’re standing just so, you can still catch a hint of that smell.

  10. Lisa,
    The “Our Town” books I was referring to two volumes of “Our Town. A History of Riverside, Ontario, 1921-1966” – not entirely but largely picture-based. I’m guessing they are still available. The website is http://riversideontario.weebly.com/ and the print shop is next door to Taloola’s.

  11. I loved the Riverside library – there used to be little path of “feet” through the Children’s section – I was fascinated with this as a small boy. I remember the “musty” smell well.

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