The picture below is what the Adams Building looks like today, but before January 3, 1939 the area where today’s Adams Building stands looked quite different. This location once had houses.
By the 1920’s it was quite obvious to the Library that it needed more space! In 1928 the land where the Adams Building is now located was purchased to build a new structure called the Annex. Money was appropriated for land, building construction, and a tunnel to connect the Annex to the existing Library building. The Annex was ready for occupancy on December 2, 1938 and the staff began to move in.
January 3, 1939 is considered to be the date the Annex was opened to the public. Much of the building was devoted to book stacks and Library personnel, but on the 5th floor two reading rooms were created. The North reading room has murals depicting Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, while the South reading room has an image of Thomas Jefferson with murals that contain many of his quotes.