Our library building was designed by architect John Howe (1913–1997) and opened to the public in 1986. Howe was a founding student of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin school in Spring Green, Wisconsin and served as Wright’s chief draftsman for nearly thirty years before establishing his own practice after Wright’s death. In recent years, Howe has become recognized as a “master of organic design”[1] and has established his own lasting legacy. Howe designed over 200, mostly residential projects. The Menomonie Public Library is one of only a few Howe designs of public buildings that were built.

As with all buildings, repairs and upgrades are always necessary. The library relies on kind support from our community to continue the upkeep and maintenance of this significant landmark. The Menomonie Public Library Foundation has pledged to help with large projects to keep the building in good shape. This year they are assisting by helping to fund a tuck-pointing and masonry repair project. Through your gifts to the Foundation, the library building will continue to be a welcome reminder of the beauty of the community in which we live.

If you want to learn more about the fascinating life and work of John Howe, check out this book by Minnesota authors Jane King Hession and Tim Quigley, John H. Howe, Architect: From Taliesin Apprentice to Master of Organic Design, or the documentary film by Rob Barros, John H. Howe, Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Master of Perspective. The library has hosted the authors of the book Hession and Quigley and a screening of the film with filmmaker Barros in two educational and entertaining programs. We also interviewed Barros on our podcast: https://soundcloud.com/menomonielibrary/documentary-filmmaker-rob-barros-on-architect-john-howe

If you are interested in helping the Foundation support the library and its projects and programs you can learn more here https://menomonielibraryfoundation.org/ or call Ted Stark, 715-232-2164

[1] Hession, Jane King. John H. Howe, architect: from Taliesin apprentice to master of organic design. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, c2015.