King Library - Andalusia (Bensalem), PA
N 40° 04.112 W 074° 58.155
18T E 502622 N 4435364
Quick Description: Beautiful, late 19th century library which has the characteristics of A French Second Empire Victorian style building. The 123-year-old King Library on the grounds of the Church of the Redeemer.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 12/24/2010 8:20:12 AM
Waymark Code: WMAC8P
The historic King Library was built in 1882 by Dr. Charles Ray King. It is a beautiful Victorian building in need of some renovation. The Church of the Redeemer, a protestant episcopal church founded in 1861 through the efforts of Mrs. Jane S. Biddle and her two sisters is the general location of this library. A parish schoolhouse was built there in 1867. Connected with the chapel is the King Library, a gift of Dr. King to the community.
The addition at the rear of the library, now used for auctions, at one time served as a meeting place for the youth of the area. It was converted at the beginning of the year to an antique shop. It housed the "Youth Center," and on Wednesday evenings in the late 1940's you would find most of the younger generation dancing to recordings. Needless to say this library 'complex' is a major part of the religious community. In front of the library is a memorial marker to men who served in World War I.
I found this from their website:
Envisioned by Dr. Charles Ray King (physician, farmer, and grandson of Constitution signer Rufus King), King Library was designed to be a place where the surrounding community could gain access to King’s private collection of books. Modeled after the John Quincy Adams Library in Massachusetts, construction began on the gothic style building in 1882. In 1888, the library opened its grand, red doors as the first public library in Bucks County.
After King’s death in 1901, the library continued to expand to accommodate the community. In 1914, Nancy King (Dr. King’s wife) added the King Hall to the rear of the building. Since its completion, King Hall has served as a social meeting place and has hosted events such as theater productions, musicals, weddings, school recitals, community meetings, and elections.
Dr. King’s vision of a community building where adults and children alike could learn and participate in social activities is still with us today. Though in need of restoration, the magnificent building is alive with King’s spirit and will continue to serve Andalusia, Bensalem, and Bucks County in the coming years. (Citation noted below)