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Site 5

Dedicated 1890
Architect: Van Brunt and Howe, Boston, Massachusetts
1921 Addition: Edward L. Tilton
1960 Addition: Frederick W. Wigen and Associates, Saginaw, Michigan
1995 Renovations and restoration: Wigen, Tincknell, Meyer and Associates, Saginaw, Michigan


Construction of Hoyt Library c. 1888In 1882 Jesse Hoyt, a resident of New York who had been instrumental in the development of the city of East Saginaw, passed away.  His will designated $100,000 to construct, develop and endow a non-circulating reference library.   It took several years for the Board of Trustees to establish the library.  Working with noted librarian William F. Poole, they selected an architect through an invitational competition.  The most prominent American architects of the period were invited - Henry Hobson Richardson, McKim Mead and White, Peabody and Stearns. The committee selected a design by Henry Van Brunt, a well-known Boston architect.


The exterior walls of the Romanesque Revival building are constructed from Bayport stone from quarries in Michigan’s thumb region and are trimmed with carved Jacobsville sandstone from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  The design of the library is directly based on the theories Exterior of Hoyt Library, View from Southwest c. 1890and principles put forth by William F. Poole. Established as a non-circulating reference library, books were housed in a vault that was located in the eastern portion of the building. Today the circulation area is located in this area.  The main entrance faced South Jefferson. 


In 1921 the library was merged with the Public Libraries of Saginaw and the building was extensively remodeled.  The main entrance was moved to Janes Street, the book vault became the circulation area, new stacks were constructed on the North side of the building and a reference room with a vaulted ceiling was constructed on the East side of the building.


Since 1921, the building has undergone a number of additional renovations.  In 1960 an addition was added on the East side of the building.  In 1997 the building was restored and renovated.  For over a century the library has been an important, vibrant part of Saginaw. 



More Photographs

Delivery Room, Hoyt Library c. 1890

Exterior of Hoyt Library after 1921 additions


Interior of Reference Room constructed as part of the 1921 additions


Exterior of 1960 addition


Interior of Local History and Genealogy Collection c. 1995


Interior of Circulation Area c. 1995






Rollover map of Historic South Jefferson Walking Tour 100 South Jefferson Avenue 403 South Jefferson - Dow House (This is connected to the First Congregational Church) Jeffers Park 403 South Jefferson - First Congregational Church 600 Federal Avenue 500 Federal Avenue - Castle Museum 505 Janes Avenue - Hoyt Library 303 Jefferson Avenue 310 South Jefferson Avenue 321 South Jefferson Avenue 523 Hayden 411 Hayden 505 Millard 503 South Jeffferson 508 South Jefferson 523 South Jefferson 505 Thompson 518 Thompson 604 South Jefferson 614 South Jefferson 615 South Jefferson St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral South Jefferson and Hoyt - Location of the fire of 1893



Mills, James Cooke. History of Saginaw County Michigan  Saginaw, Michigan: Seeman & Peters, 1918. I:304 -307.

"Harriet Ames Engaged as Librarian." Saginaw Evening News 20 November 1888. 7.

Russell-Hitchcock, Henry. The Architecture of H.H. Richardson and His Times. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1986. 285.

Breisch, Kenneth A.  Henry Hobson Richardson and the Small Public Library in America: A Study in Typology. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1997.

Trombley, Thomas F. “Invitation to Architects: The Competition to Design the Hoyt Library.”
Saginaw County Historian.1983. 129 -135.

“Merger Given Approval by School Board.” Saginaw News Courier 20 November 1919. 13.

Hoyt Library Construction Papers. Local History and Genealogy Collection, Hoyt Library.