Property Overview Inventory List District Map

Danbury Music Center

LHD boundaries as described are approximate and subject to change. Consult the LHD Study Report on file with the relevant local district commission or municipal authority to verify district boundaries and whether a specific property, particularly one in proximity of a boundary line, is within the district. Also note that LHD boundaries may differ from those of State or National Register Districts.

View of Old Library at 254 Main Street; Source - Assessors
Year of Establishment:
Notes on Establishment:

Ordinance passed in January 2009

Property Authority:
Historic Properties Commission
Link to Commission or Municipal Website:

Map of the historic property retrieved from the study report, SHPO library, Hartford.

View photo


Architectural Style:

High Victorian Gothic (Approximate dimensions- 53 X 64)

19th Century

One of Danbury's richest and most visible engaging buildings, the old library retains so many of its attractive features that it has an exiting potential. The exterior of pressed brick is punctuated by polychromatic stone trim. The slate roof is broken by gables, in the form of a cross, while symmetry is offset bys a side entrance that repeats the gabled motif, with a carved floral finial surmounting each. Rhythm is created by gothic and segmented arches. The roof is supported by a truss of immense timbers running contrary to each other. An immense vaulted ceiling of ash, lighted by a large sky light in the middle and side windows decorated at one time with quaterfoils, creates a large and roomy interior space. Much of the original woodwork, like the book cases and the steam radiators are intact. Inside the building is equally impressive. The first floor contains which were at one time the Children's room. Murals painted by artist Charles Federer during the 1930s depict scenes from fairy tales on the walls. It is said that he used Danbury people for models. The magnificent second floor reading room is now the Marian Anderson Recital Hall for the Danbury Music Center.

Architecture, Historical: This Danbury architectural landmark was constructed between 1876-78 on a site donated by Alexander Moss White, a member of a prominent and wealthy hatting family, who had moved from Danbury to Brooklyn. His house, built in 1790, stood on the site and was serving as the town's library. White donated almost all of the $28000 needed to move his old house on to Library Place, which had been a cow path between the home lots of White and Alexander Wildman, to the north. Architect Lorenzo Wheeler, who had been raised in Danbury, was hired and designed a building of a design and creation of Danburians. The building served as a library until the present one was built in 1970. The downstairs rooms originally held the Selectman's office, commercial space and was later converted into the Children's Room. [2]

[1] District information retrieved from the town website
[2] Danbury Music Center, Weinstein Lauries and Sullivan Laura, Historic Resources Inventory, Building and Structures, 2006, SHPO library, Hartford.
[3] Historic Property Ordinance for the City of Danbury
Assessors information retrieved from the website

Load bearing masonry, Brick and Cut Stone, Gable and Hip roof with slate. On original site, Altered- added elevator, removed cupola, new windows. Architect- Lamb and Wheeler, Newark, NJ; Builder- William Webb Sunderland (carpenter) and John H. Benedict (mason).

Date of Compilation:
Manjusha Patnaik, CT Trust for Historic Preservation