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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Municipal Memphis: 1906

Municipal Memphis: 1906

1906. "Cossitt Library and Post Office, Memphis, Tennessee." This Romanesque castle in red sandstone, at Front and Monroe on the banks of the Mississippi, was the city's first public library when it opened in 1893. View full size.

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Really a pity

Really a pity they destroyed such beautiful architecture. They just don't build them like this anymore. If they needed a bigger building for the library they should have built it elsewhere and preserved this unique structure as a museum.

Missing from modern architecture

Towers. Lots and lots of towers.

Beautiful building, tragic loss

It's tragic how such a beautiful building with such a noble public purpose would be demolished for no good reason.

Here's another fine mess

That cockeyed and rickety wagon near the corner makes one believe that Laurel and Hardy just left it to deliver a piano inside the library.

Dead at 75

The Cossitt was demolished in 1958. The whole sad story is here.

Edit: It lasted 65, not 75, years.

Wall that's left.

That red sandstone is striking, I would love to have seen the whole castle in living color.

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SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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