Join the Howland Public Library, the Howland Cultural Center, and the Beacon Historical Society as we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of our City’s Library and Richard Morris Hunt's architectural gem: the Howland Cultural Center.
The history of these three cultural institutions are interconnected. On August 5th, 1872, the Howland Circulating Library opened in the Village of Matteawan, New York. The building, land, and books were donated to the village by philanthropists Joseph and Eliza Howland. The goal, as stated by the Honorable J.J. Monell at the opening ceremony was, "to enlighten and elevate the people and ... mark their onward progress in their career of improvement." General Howland commissioned his brother-in-law, famed architect Richard Morris Hunt, to design the library.
In 1976, needing more space to serve our growing community, the Howland Public Library moved to its current home at 313 Main Street. After the Library relocated, the original historic building was transformed into the Howland Cultural Center and has been serving as Beacon's center for the arts since 1979.
The Beacon Historical Society also shares its origin story with the Library. Established in 1976, the Historical Society began preserving Beacon's history at the Howland Public Library. They later set up office at the Howland Cultural Center from 1992 to 2018. Today, they have their own dedicated research and exhibition center located at 61 Leonard Street.
The three organizations are collaborating to present a two-month-long celebration with exhibits, performances, and FREE programs for all ages. Please join us as we commemorate this milestone for the City of Beacon community.