Libraries Grand Arches at the Flower Memorial Library

Published on January 8th, 2012 | by I Love Upstate New York


X Marks The Spot

I love libraries…well, I love the idea of libraries. Whenever I go to a new library, I always have the same hope that the inside will resemble the Venetian library that was featured in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade…minus all of the rats and fire. I hold my breath with the excitement that white marble floors and painted ceilings can arouse. I long for the smell of worn leather bindings and yellowing parchment. When I go to a library, I want to literally be transported to a different era, when people had loads of money to decorate buildings from floor to ceiling with knick knacks made of solid gold. I am always disappointed when faced with the fluorescently lit reality that has been every library I have ever had the misfortune to visit…and yet my quest for the perfect library continues, much as Indiana’s search for the holy grail.

Until yesterday…

Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library

Yesterday, while feeling particularly adventurous, I decided to head over to check out Watertown’s local library, The Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library. I felt a catch in my chest as I passed two ferocious white marble lions guarding the front entrance. I felt a skip of my heart as my eyes rested on the golden zodiac symbols that adorn the floor. I blacked out for a moment as I gazed upon ceilings decorated with ornate paintings, gold leaf and stained glass. I may have even let out a small, quiet squeal of delight as I danced across the lobby floor. I spent about an hour or so walking from room to room taking photographs and bothering the patrons who were trying to read.

This has become my new favorite spot to shoot indoor photos, fight off cabin fever and combat the winter blues (in the event that winter ever shows up…I’m not complaining). If you would like to learn more about the Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library, visit their website:

Marble Lion Roswell P. Flower Memorial LibraryMain Lobby Collage Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library
Grand Arches at the Flower Memorial LibraryMain Lobby Roswell P. Flower Memorial LibraryThe Pink Room Collage Roswell P. Flower Memorial LibraryTextured Ceiling Roswell P. Flower Memorial LibraryStained Glass Sky Light Roswell P. Flower Memorial LibraryHermes Bronze Collage Roswell P. Flower Memorial LibraryKnowledge Fountain Collage Roswell P. Flower Memorial LibraryNapoleon's Office Collage Roswell P. Flower Memorial LibraryPainted Arches Collage Roswell P. Flower Memorial LibraryAbove Roswell P. Flower Memorial LibraryCircles Roswell P. Flower Memorial LibraryArchways Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library

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145 Responses to X Marks The Spot

  1. Wow! What a beautiful library! Think I have the same romantic ideas, especially when they are further fuelled by the likes of the wedding in the first sex and the city movie (ok, so not the most inspiring option I could have picked but sadly it’s true!)

    • aparisi13 says:

      I’m right there with you. I loved that concept. I thought that was a very clever and fitting scene for the wedding of a writer. I have never been there, but I have a library card for the New York Public Libraries, that I received through the mail (but that’s another post). Someday I will have to make a real effort to get there. Have you ever been to any really cool libraries? Have any tips?

      • Sadly I think most of my library time was consigned to uni, pulling an all nighter on a deadline…

        Most interesting I’ve been in was the Belfast Central Library, which looks grand from the outside and the lobby, but the reading rooms are quite plain and stern from my memory – and it smelt a bit musty rather than anything tantalising :)

        I will keep my eyes open though :)

        Hoping to end up at Queens University this year if all goes to plan so might get a look around theirs plenty

      • Certainly will if I make it onto the course :) I’m hoping being round the mill once before will work in my favour :s

        At least my application arrived – Royal Mail have been telling me for weeks it was stuck in their system and not delivered, so there’s a relief! It’s out of my hands until the interview stage in March now :)

  2. tita buds says:

    You’re right, this is the kind of library that transports one to a different (more glamorous) era. I actually realized my mouth was agape while looking through these pictures, haha. (I’d love to sit in one of those club chairs and lose myself in a book!) This is a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL place and your pictures showcased it very well. :)

  3. Ashley says:

    This library is one of the very few things I miss about Northern New York. That musty old book smell comes back every time I even think about it. Gorgeous photos!

  4. Um…WOW! As a freelance writer and inherent lover of words, I would consider selling a piece of my writer’s soul for a library like this in my hometown! Spectacular! :)

    • aparisi13 says:

      I too, am a lover of words, but wish I didn’t find myself at a loss for the right ones so often! I have always thought that is what a library should look like. Books are so full of mystery and adventure, how can they be kept anywhere but some place this amazing! Thanks for checking out my blog!

    • aparisi13 says:

      Thank you, I’m really glad you enjoyed the post! I was shocked to find such an amazing place right in my backyard!

  5. Wow, such amazing photos!!! I was just visiting New York and now I must go back to see this, what a beautiful place. Wonderful photos!

  6. brains says:

    i feel very at home in libraries and bookstores. and used bookstores.

    • aparisi13 says:

      I haven’t ventured into very many used bookstores, but only because I haven’t found the right one yet. I was heartbroken when Boarders in Watertown closed it’s doors. I’m surprised they couldn’t make it, considering I never leave a Boarders having spent less than $50. Thanks for checking out my blog and taking the time to comment!

  7. Rae says:

    Looks gorgeous! I’ve always thought it would be amazing to be a librarian and work in a library like that. I hope libraries never die.

  8. jwolfe06 says:

    I would read there. If you ever get the chance- St. Genevieve in Paris is the Holy Grail of libraries.

  9. I too love libraries, and this one is pretty amazing–as are your photos. Thanks for sharing them.

  10. Excellent photos; congrats on FP. How are you feeling about electronic books?

    • aparisi13 says:

      Thanks! I am a super gadget geek, so you would think that I would be all over electronic books, but I really haven’t tried it out yet. I have been engaged in a love affair with audiobooks for about the last 5 years. Audiobooks allow me to consume books at a rate which would be impossible with my work schedule. Since I have started listening to books while I design, I have been able to knock out books I would normally never touch. There’s also something really great about having a narrator use different voices for all the characters in a book while I slave away at the computer editing photos. I will let you know once I have tried out the electronic book on my iPad. What do you prefer?

      • Audiobooks, how I love them. Edward Herrmann and David McCullough can read anything and make it interesting. And I can even get them downloaded to my old clamshell phone. I’ve been resisting the kindle or nook, but I’m looking around our house at all these books that take up so much space and am beginning to feel the Call of the E-wild. If I really like the book I can buy the hard copy.

  11. What a strange mixture of architecture and interiors. But who is it named after? Looks wonderful. I always wanted to work in the British Library, and their collections are utterly incredible, but it is so busy, I prefer to hang out in coffee shops.

  12. I love the picture of the ceiling.

    it floored me.

  13. Cheyenne.B says:

    Wow! I can’t get over the amazing colours in your photographs!
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  14. great pictures, and gorgeous library! but I have to ask – Mr. Jackson is your small black jug??

  15. Wow !! Now that’s what I call HD and gr8 photography !! Hats Off to the creativity here !! Cheers

    Please check out my latest post –

    And even my new PhotoBlog –

  16. onauduboncom says:

    Who would a known! You have a great eye for composition. I wonder if this is a Carnegie library? I will check out their web site. Thanks. Keep up the great work.

  17. Beautiful – thanks for sharing:) Congrats on being FP!

  18. suekenney says:

    Flower Library is one of my all-time favorite places to be, any time of the year. I live a few miles north of Watertown, and go as often as I am able. Your photos bring out someof the beauty of the library that I’ve overlooked for the past few years – I think you must’ve found every nook and cranny! Congrats on being Fresh Pressed. Well-deserved – beautiful photos.

  19. viktoriablog says:

    This library is extraordinary!
    I have an ongoing love affair with libraries ..
    I spent a large part of my childhood in them!
    Love your blog, the pictures are amazing!

    I write a travel themed blog about London :)

  20. pnwauthor says:

    I feel jealous. We don’t have any elegant libraries like this one in Washington State.

  21. Snapshooter says:

    Lovely detail here. So inviting…

  22. The photos and the story line about your passion is so well done. I enjoyed it so much. Thank you for sharing this with your WordPress family.

  23. Upstate New Yoirk is a special place for me. Every summer from the time I was nine until sixteen years of age, I was able to spend the summer on a working dairy farm in Upstate New York. Most of these were around the Coopertown area. It was part of the “Fresh air Fund” for slum kids such as myself who lived in the city and came from a poor family. It was an opportunity to work on the farm with room and board and be paid a very small amount of money monthly. When I was sixteen, it was 14 hour days, seven days a week, working in the hot sun. The pay was about 90 dollars a month.

  24. This is awesome! I had no idea such a beautiful library was in Watertown. I will check it out the next time I am there. Thanks!

  25. I absolutely love these pictures! Hard to believe this is a library! The captures with the bright greens are my favorites!

  26. Amazing! More stately home than a library!

  27. Carlie Chew says:

    Wow! What a beautiful library and pictures. I could have sworn you took these photos in Europe at first. Great work.

  28. To explore the treasures in books while being surrounded by all those treasures around you! I, too, love to hang out in libraries, even the ones that aren’t as beautiful. Thanks for sharing :-)

  29. dsetyani says:

    Is it a library? Where are the books anyway? :p

  30. I love the pictures! I wish I could go to that library :)

  31. Wow! We drive north to Canada a few times a year from our home in the lower Hudson Valley. Got to stop there now. Thanks for sharing this….as a writer, I am in love with libraries.

  32. specpro says:

    The details are really amazing

  33. I feel the same way except the library I’ve always envisioned is the one from Beauty and the Beast (the Disney version). One day I hope to visit a library as magnificent as this!

  34. I love upstate NY too! There are so many amazing places to explore-lots of great walks. I’m following along!

    • aparisi13 says:

      Thanks for the follow! What are your favorite places in Upstate New York?

      • So many places…the industrial shell in Binghamton, the Finger Lakes trail, the quarries in Syracuse, I have a soft spot for Camden …I could go on and on. One of the best places in the US

        • aparisi13 says:

          I love the Finger Lakes Wine Trails and have been waiting for the right moment to blog about some of the wineries down there that are near and dear to my heart. I am fortunate enough to design the labels for both Montezuma Winery and the new up and coming winery, The Apple Station. Two wineries that I will certainly be featuring on this blog. Thanks for the tip on the Industrial Shell and the Quarries, I will have to plan a trip to see both of those!

  35. Great photographs, a true work of art! :-)

  36. metan says:

    What a wonderful place, I absolutely love your pictures, thank you for sharing them. If a library like that was near here my house would fall into ruin, nothing would ever be done!
    (Did you hear a quiet ‘oook’ drifting through the L-space?)

  37. i love the pictures so much..they were perfectly captured and beautiful..:) I hope I can visit that library..:)

  38. cricketmuse says:

    Love the library post. I am a library junkie as well. Thanks for the delicious array of photos. One of my BIG list (Before I Get…too old, too complacent, too broke) is to do a library tour around the country, heck, maybe even around the world. Hmm, I’d have to renew the passport. I’ll stick with around the world.
    Happy Pages,

  39. Wes B. says:

    I wish my local library looked at extravagant as that. :p

  40. nancyfrancis says:

    This is in WATERTOWN??? Amaze.

    I’m from Toronto but my parents live in Gananoque, Ontario so we spend a lot of time crossing the border and heading to Watertown and lots of other areas in the finger lakes region – including your lovely Sackets Harbor (I’m pretty sure that’s where Tin Pan Galley is, no?). Beautiful spot.

    I will 100% be going to check out this library.. I kidna have a thing for Lions ;)

    • aparisi13 says:

      Glad to have been the one to lead you to it! I have spent the last 30 years cruising around the islands near Gananoque on the St. Lawrence river in my Boston Whaler. That area is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen and I keep going back year after year.

  41. jvlivs says:

    Love the pics. They reminds me of upstate Michigan.

  42. X tra ordinary photos !

  43. i have recently photographed New York City myself,

    though it is very different from your realism–which you have portrayed with class and elegance.

  44. Good lord. If I found a place like that around where I live, I’d be lucky to get away with a quiet squeal. They’d probably permanently ban me when I started laughing hysterically and kissing the walls and the statues and the fireplaces and the chairs just for existing and being within my reach.

    In other words, I probably shouldn’t move anywhere near Watertown in the near future.

    • aparisi13 says:

      I tried very hard to reign in my excitement, but I’m not sure I did such a great job. There was one gentlemen who was working on a powerpoint presentation who continued to give me the stink eye until I left the room he was in. I really did try!

  45. yogaleigh says:

    The library looks amazing and your photos of it are so good! I’m actually pretty happy to go to any library but as far as the new local ones I must admit I browse on line to put holds on what I want and just run in to pick them up. THIS library I would want to stay and read and read…

  46. bwbears says:

    Beautiful architecture and beautiful photos! Wish I had a library as magnificent as this near home too! Congratulations!

  47. What a spectacular post! Such beauty and even better that it’s a library! Makes me want to go there to experience all that you’ve presented here!

  48. Aidyearts says:

    I think you choose so coolest libraries whenever you go ? I wondered if every library have modern and classical architectures and facilities together. But classic is more beautiuful to me and like this one. Fantastic !

  49. lupa08 says:

    Beautiful photography doing justice to a beautiful subject! I completely understood what you meant by your expectations from libraries. I remember a time in my youth when I used to read 23 books per week (the maximum the local library would allow) and practically stalked my favorite aisles, waiting for borrowed books to return so I could carry back all the ones on my list. Those were the days when one had the time to pursue one’s favorite hunt!
    But I’m so glad you found the library of your dreams. And your photos make me want to visit.

  50. {lv} says:

    I want to own a library like this one day (one can dream…)
    I love being in library and the idea of it — it feels as though just standing in the space, I’m absorbing the knowledge.

  51. Really great pictures! An the combinations are even cooler. Good stuff :)


  52. starlight says:

    wow, i’m so envious! i would love to be there and witness all the great artistry on the ceiling and the floors.. maybe i would be spending a day there just to capture and take photographs of the different nooks of the library.. i wish you had taken a photo of the book shelves especially those old books.. i wonder how they look like.. nice photos and thanks for sharing.

  53. Fabulous crafting…and love to find here in word press….Nice Blog

  54. Micky Martin says:

    You have done an awesome job in collecting the classic wonders of NY!

  55. What a beautiful library. Thank you for your article and the glorious photos!

  56. I’m a bit gutted the libraries I see are never this nice. I think I’d visit them more often if they looked like that!

  57. irene says:

    the pictures ise very beautifull and photos from book are very different and there are photos are very amazing i love upstate NY too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  58. irene says:

    are photos from elelctronic book and photos are very different

  59. irene says:

    and pictures is very beautifuul from electronic book

  60. Beautiful photos of a beautiful library. I could spend hours there. And if you’re ever in the DC area, I recommend the Library of Congress. Also a stunning place.

    • aparisi13 says:

      Thanks for the recommendation! Scott and I love DC. It’s a beautiful city, amazing architecture, landscaping and history! Next time we are there we will totally go visit the Library of Congress. Thanks for reading!

  61. Wonderful pics. I grew up in Buffalo, and there, Update New York was above us. To people from NYC, everything above the city is upstate. Very frustrating for us Buffalonians.

  62. elissa field says:

    How beautiful! I’ve been writing about ‘living with books’ lately, and this is gorgeous. Thank you for posting, I’m tweeting the link.

  63. antarabesque says:

    Amazingly beautiful! I am green with envy. Lovely pictures, thanks for sharing.

  64. I officially want to live in this library.

  65. Ryan says:

    Wow! Amazing photographs!

  66. Reblogged this on proverbs3125life and commented:
    Such a gorgeous library! sigh…

  67. lighthouse75 says:

    This brought back memories since I lived in Watertown for a year 2003-4. Stunning photos! I think now I would find many photo ops in Watertown since I’ve grown to love shooting vintage buildings, but at the time I used every chance I got to scoot over to the Adirondacks or to interesting nature spots in St. Lawrence County. Not that I regret it!

  68. daveinden says:

    Great shots. I would love to visit a library like that and just walk around looking at it all day.

  69. S. Smith says:

    Great post! I’m also originally from Upstate NY and have always loved the Utica Public Library on Genesee Street! Thank you! :)

    • aparisi13 says:

      I spend a lot of time in Utica, but have never been to the library on Genesee. Next time I am in town I’m heading right over there! Thanks for the tip!

  70. You have a beautiful eye for photographing architecture. Wonderful insight!

  71. Brandie says:

    Wow…such amazing pictures!! I can only hope that i can see these places too in the future!!!

  72. Great post, fantastic photos! If you’re ever in Detroit check out the Main library on Woodward, you won’t be disappointed. The Skillman Branch is pretty wonderful too! If you like Art Deco the Toldeo Public Library is amazing.

  73. Amazing beauty. Thanks & congrats on your FP status.

  74. Matina says:

    Reblogged this on Eye of a Culturalista and commented:
    I wish all libraries looked so grand!

  75. Jenny says:

    Oh my goodness, what a marvelous post with gorgeous photos!! The ceilings in that library are fabulous!

    It is lovely to see such breath-taking architecture holding so much history and knowledge.

  76. culturelites says:

    Love the collage you’ve created with surfaces, textures and artifacts

  77. culturelites says:

    Reblogged this on culturelites and commented:
    Spaces of Beingness

  78. karmajustfar says:

    This library looks epic! Wow… Wish we had something like that here in South Africa!

  79. Wow! That is one kick ass library. We need something like that in Manhattan. And, great photos!

  80. Rose says:

    Is this Heaven? Wow, what an amazing finding! Your photos are great and love, just love the architecture, the details, everything! fabulous post, thank you so much for sharing!

  81. webbookmark says:

    Wow its amazing library

  82. Melissa says:

    Beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing.

  83. Love your photos! This library is just one of the many reasons I love living in the Watertown area. I have spent many Saturday’s at this library.

  84. renee says:

    Thank you for sharing this library with us. Your photos look great and are so inspiring to me.

  85. tecnhnoblogy says:

    amazing post, coolest images.

  86. nofosu says:

    That is what a real library looks like. I love it! It calls to my heart. Thank you for sharing this

  87. theyapster says:

    i really like this!! i’m also hoping to get to see good libraries near my city, but unfortunately there are none!! libraries are inspiring indeed! their architecture to the smell and the atmosphere inside!!!!

    i’ve been looking for good libraries near my city, even an hour away library would be a welcome sight but just looking for one is already hard enough!!

  88. trialsinfood says:

    beautiful images. one of the things i love about europe is the architecture. they just don’t build things the same here.

  89. MFM Editor says:

    Love it!

  90. ikonopoesie says:

    Very awesome picture !

  91. aparisi13 says:

    I just want to take the opportunity to thank all of you for taking the time to comment and like and even follow my blog. Being Freshly Pressed was such an exciting ride, it made me feel like a nerdy rockstar! I look very forward to reading all of your blogs and seeing what each and every one of you are up to in your own corners of the world. Thanks again, you all have truly made my day!

  92. mamadestroy says:

    I’m originally from Utica and the public library is nowhere near as elegant as the one in Watertown (miraculous photos, I am desperate to see it for myself!), partly because it is not as well maintained,but as a child I loved spending time in the stacks, where the floors are made of glass bricks. I used to love finding a little desk in the corner to read and draw and I would look upward, seeing the feet of the people above me and the eerie shadows of the rows and rows of shelves. It always felt like a very special and mysterious hidden place to me and it might be a great place to take some photos.
    Road trip?
    Thanks so much for sharing the Watertown Library with me! Sometimes I forget how many forgotten treasures upstate NY houses.

  93. irisoniris says:

    so beautiful. like i was taken to another world. i specially loved the people figures in the ceiling.

  94. Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  95. paintlater says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Australia, I love the lake and the beaches and the escarpment, but I also love libraries, museums and galleries. When I saw your photos I thought about the libraries in my area. I wish your world was a little closer. Everytime I come across a blog like yours with these wonderful images I wonder where I belong. Cheers Sue

    • aparisi13 says:

      Well thank you so much for your kind words! I would really LOVE to visit Australia! Upstate New York is amazing and we take advantage of what we have here as much as we can, but both Scott and I would love to be able to travel around the world and explore every corner as thoroughly as we have here. Thanks for taking the time to stop and read, and leave such a wonderful comment! Let me know if you ever make it here!

  96. Wow, really nice library! They just don’t craft things now a days like they use to.

    I love the layout of the place and all of the design elements. The things I would incorporate into my home if I was rich.

  97. vimagio says:

    Wonderful photos! Libraries are magical.

  98. Xoth says:

    Seems to be a beautiful and peaceful place. Thanls for sharing this.

  99. Pingback: I Love US – An Upstate Wedding « I Love Upstate New York

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