How the State Library Was Built

Just as fascinating as the books, historic documents, artifacts, manuscripts, and memorabilia stored inside the walls of the CT State Library, a look at how these walls were constructed back in 1908-09 reveals remarkable ambition fortified with back breaking labor.

Don’t forget, during this time period, power tools were non existent as you can see in the accompanying photo showing horse drawn carts hauling earth away from the excavation site. Today, the basement is a veritable maze of passageways filled with power lines and HVAC equipment. One such passage leads to a circular staircase descending to the sub basement where an unfinished tunnel would have connected the State Library to the State Capitol directly across the street.

Unfortunately, the water table of the now buried Park River prevented this feature from being completed. Check out our online collection for more revealing construction photos and accompanying full text documents.

How the State Library Was Built
How the State Library Was Built