About the Howland Cultural Center

The Howland Cultural Center is housed in an 1872 Richard Morris Hunt building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building was commissioned by Civil War General and shipping magnate Joseph Howland as a circulating library.

Norwegian in architectural style, the building is 65' by 40' and has a six gabled roof covered with multi-colored Delaware slate. The outside walls are red and black Croton brick interlaid with light Jersey brick. The foundation is of blue stone and Breakneck granite. The ceiling, from floor to dome, measures 33' 9" and is supported by hand-wrought Georgia pine columns. The floors are in three thicknesses, composed of English cane felt laid on hemlock boards to prevent dampness or sound. The top floor is laid in strips of Georgia pine. The structure was one of the last libraries designed to utilize natural light for the reading room.

Hunt's contribution to our community was one of his earliest works. He would later go on to design a wing of the Louvre Museum in Paris, the base of the Statue of Liberty, the renowned "Breakers" at Newport, Rhode Island, and the central section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

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Richard Morris Hunt

The Howland Cultural Center is dedicated to providing a rich, varied cultural experience for the city of Beacon, as well as the surrounding communities. Members and volunteers play an important role in the continued success of the Center.

For further information about membership in the Howland Cultural Center or its many other events and exhibits call (845) 831-4988, write them at 477 Main Street, Beacon, NY 12508 or click here. Additional information can be found through the Beacon Historical Society.

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