It was a cold and rainy fall day when I stood in front of the old yet beautiful Sage Library. Of all the times I've passed it, I never stopped to think about the story behind it--or even what it might be like inside. In the front of the building is a black fence surrounding the courtyard. There is a little walkway that circles around the fountain, an old Victorian style fountain with a lady holding a swan . Just past that is the old building; it has a gothic look with its red brick, cloud-tickling tall arches, blue stone window trim, slate shingles, and a yellow sculpture of a unknown Greek woman representing math and science. To the side of the building, I can see an old opening that was used when there was a school in the basement. Now, it is replaced with a handicap ramp.
Walking up the steps to the glass doors, I can see the age of the door handles. Through the first set of doors there is a light with a red glass that says "Sage Library"; it has been there since the building's opening. Through the second set of doors, on the right, is a picture of Henry William Sage in a tarnished-looking frame. Above I can see another light that is as old as the building itself. As I look up I can tell there was real craftsmanship put into the ceiling, because its is very detailed. The ceiling is tin, but has been painted white. There is also an old chair that has been at Sage Library since the place was first build in 1881. The chair is a light golden wood with royal blue cushions, about the size of a kitchen chair.
Through the entrance way to the other side of the first floor, I can see signs of the how the library used to be. It is the little things that really stand out about the building itself, such as the heaters that are still there but don't work, or the archways, which make the place look like an old mansion.
As I go up the steps to the second floor, I can really start to get a glimpse of how Sage used to be. The second floor is now a children's section with many bright colors, and behind a shelf is an old fireplace. The shelf is next to some computers and hidden from the world. Around the fireplace are pictures of fairy tales.
The best part of the library is the third floor. As I started up the steps, it was like walking into a scary old movie. The air got cold and I could feel a wind blowing. Looking at the walls, I can see that parts are chipped and are showing signs of old age. At the top, a big brown door gave me the chills just looking at it. Through the door is a hallway, and in that hallway there are three rooms. Next to the first door, there is a stack of old newspapers from when the library first opened IN 1881. In the first room, there are a bunch of old books and the air is chilly. Bats live in the room, so it is a good idea to remain silent. The room is made of strong wood which has withstood decades of years and use. As I look out the windows, I can really get a good view of the town, Bay City.
The next room is on the left; it's just a storage room with more books and things for the holidays. It is a weird blue color and there is one window in the room. The last third-floor room was interesting, because it had a calendar from 1879. The room also had old books from that era as well. Many the books were on math, science, and things of that nature. The lady who was giving me a tour said that they were trying to sell them to different collectors around the world. The bookshelves themselves were really old, six feet tall and made of solid oak.
Sage Library is rich in history, and after doing this report, I was shocked at the things I found out about the building. For example, Henry William Sage was a big lumber baron who was a strong believer in education. He wanted people to stop drinking and partying and try to get an education. It's somewhat ironic, however, that the library is located about a block away from several bars on Midland Street. When Sage decided to build the library, it cost about fifty thousand dollars. In addition, when it opened it had a school in the basement and offices on the third floor. I didn't find out when they closed the school, but when they did it became just a normal library.
Bay City's Sage Library is unlike any other building in town. I was very excited when I got to see the top floor. I learned a great deal from my experience, and I realize that it's good to find out about your town and its history. I know I'm glad I did.