Library prints for sale
Posted: December 7, 2012
Star staff report
Winchester — Handley Regional Library has released two architectural renderings of the Handley Library for sale.
Copies of the watercolor of the library that hangs in the library Rotunda are available for the first time.
In addition, the architectural drawing of the library dome, which has been available previously only as part of the entire set of five drawings, is now offered for individual purchase.
The watercolor reproduction is 16 inches wide by 12.75 inches high and costs $63, including tax, and was painted by Edward Eldon Deane. The print shows Handley Library’s architects J. Stewart Barney’s and Otis Chapman’s preliminary design and probably was painted after October 1902, when the Handley board of trustees authorized hiring an architect, after the board approved Barney and Chapman’s plans.
The watercolor not only provides an image of the library but also captures a period of time in Winchester’s history. Men, women and children in turn-of-the-century garb hurry toward the library.
The Handley Library Dome Roof plan is a reproduction from the original ink-on-linen drawing by J. Stewart Barney and Henry Otis Chapman. It measures 25.5 inches wide by 38 inches high and costs $89.25, including tax. It provides four different views of the library’s dome as well as details of the dome.
The plan of the roof, on the lower half, has the viewer looking down on the copper roof and on its interior from the same perspective.
On the upper half of the print is an elevation drawing, again showing an outside and inside view. The detailed copper work is illustrated on the exterior view. The interior view shows the metal, terra cotta tiles, and wooden structure along with the iron framing of the stained glass dome.
The Dome Roof plan shows two different dome shapes. The inner dome of stained glass is shorter and flatter than the outer. The original submission by the architects, a watercolor by E. Eldon Deane, shows the outer dome in this flatter shape.
Somewhere in the design process they must have come the realization that an individual at street level on the sidewalk near the library could not see the dome if it had the flatter shape. Therefore, the design was changed, and the library was built with a taller outer dome.
J. Stewart Barney is acknowledged as the architect who designed the Handley Library. Architectural historian Richard Guy Wilson, in “The Making of Virginia Architecture,” called the Handley Library “one of Virginia’s most spectacular buildings of the twentieth century.”
Construction began in 1907, and the library opened Aug. 21, 1913. These prints are being issued to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the library in 2013. The images were printed on archival quality paper by Gleedsville Art Publishers of Leesburg, using the giclée method.
Production of the prints and preservation of Handley Regional Library’s collection of 43 original drawings was financed by a bequest from the estate of Dr. Meredith Wilkinson Green (1922-2005).
Prints are available for sale at the administrative offices at Handley Library, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Special arrangements may be made for sales at other times. Call Director Trish Ridgeway at 540-662-9041, ext. 14, for additional information.