Handley Library

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NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


Judge John Handley of Scranton, Pa., who made a fortune in coal investments, late in life developed a warm affection for the city of Winchester and its Scotch-Irish heritage. In 1895, he left funds for the construction of a school, and also for this library “for the free use of the people of the city of Winchester.” The result of this munificence is perhaps Virginia’s purest expression of the regal and florid Beaux Arts classicism. The Handley Library’s architects were J. Stewart Barney and Henry Otis Chapman of New York. Begun in 1908 and completed in 1913, the library was a model for its time. The dome, colonnades, and esplanades encased the most modern facilities, including an auditorium, well-appointed reading rooms, and five levels of glass-floored stacks, all in fireproof construction. Still an efficient facility, the Handley Library is an illustration of the long-lasting benefits of architectural quality.

Last Updated: June 2, 2023

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VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

For additional information Read

Nomination Form


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