Historical Timeline for Our 1913 Library

NC Library - by Markiewicz (1)

1909 to 1910

The funds to build a new Library on Main Street and Cherry Street are amassed though the legacies of Albert S. Comstock and Jesse St. John together with a building fund drive and money from the sale of the former New Canaan Reading Room and Circulating Library on Elm Street.


Designs are submitted for the new library by five distinguished architects- all with homes in New Canaan. Alfred H. Taylor is the chosen architect with John Mahon builder.

January 25,1913

The cornerstone of the library is laid. Sixty dignitaries and hundreds of local people gather to hear speeches, prayers and songs by local school children.

November 20, 1913

The formal dedication of the library with speeches and poems and the dedication of a painting by Silvermine artist Addison T. Miller.


The town of New Canaan increases its annual support to $1000. The first annual grant was established in 1895 of $100.


The children’s room is extended to the north which nearly doubles its space.


An addition is made to the library.  New Canaan Architect John C. Moore is chosen. He uses native stone for the facade along Cherry Street to match that of the original 1913 building.

July 1952 to January 1953

The library is closed for its addition. Borrowers keep their stacks of books at their homes and all the periodical are delivered to the home of Miss Stevens, the librarian.


The New Canaan Historical Society moves from its room in the library to its present location. It has been connected to the library since the Society began.


A new wing is added to the library. Willis N. Mills, Jr. of the New Canaan firm SMS is chosen as the architect to create plans to expand the library and triple its area.


The Lapham Wing is built with a gift from Mrs. Ruth Lapham Lloyd of $750,000 (providing a matching sum is raised). The new wing is named in honor of her father, Lewis H. Lapham.


The Lapham wing is built.


The Richard Salant Room is dedicated in the original north end of the 1913 library. Richard Salant, a New Canaan resident and president of the CBS news division, made a gift in 1993, shortly before he died, to start a collection of journalistic papers for the Library. His wife Frances added a great deal of her husband's collection subsequently. Donations from others in the world of journalism such as Katharine Graham, Chung, Cronkite, Dan Rather, Williams, and others help to create The Richard Salant Room, where the Salant lectures are held and which houses the Salant Papers.


New Children’s Room is designed by Jim Rogers, Architect.


The Stoddard Art Lecture Series was established to honor Pat and Hud Stoddard.


Library’s Strategic Planning Commission selected Centerbrook Architects to plan the new facility.