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RICHARD GILLIS, JR. PUBLIC LIBRARY

ASHLAND, VIRGINIA

Edwin Slipek, Jr. writes in his February 17, 1998 Style Weekly article "Small Town Gem", "the Richard Gillis, Jr. Public Library, a sprawling 10,000 square-foot building on Railroad Avenue near the intersection of England Street (Route 54), doesn't shout for attention. Unlike the elegant, stand-alone designs of Classical Revival or Romanesque Revival libraries that magnate Andrew Carnegie endowed in hundreds of communities nationwide earlier in this century, the Gillis Library wants mightily to mesh with its small -town surroundings. Collaborating architects The DePasquale Gentilhomme Group of Richmond, Virginia and The Lukmire Partnership of Arlington, Virginia have designed a building of strong contextualism whose massing and detailing draw subtly from the one- and two-story commerical buildings nearby."

The front facade facing Railroad Avenue is divided into four blocks with modulating setbacks that meld it into the rhythm of the existing streetscape; maintaining a pedestrian-oriented scale. An entrance clock tower punctures the strong horizontal lines of the primary blocks. Subtle, complementary, horizontal brick banding and window accents, texturally differentiated from the glazed red brick building material, elegantly ornaments the facade.

Richard Gillis Public Library image