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Somerset County Then and Now

Then and Now

230 South Rosina Avenue


Mary S. Biesecker Public Library

Address: 230 S Rosina Avenue

Year built: 1943

Builder/Designer: Charles Morse Stotz

Building Style: Colonial Revival

List of Businesses: Mary S. Biesecker Public Library


The Somerset Public Library was created in June 1914 by a group of local philanthropists and service groups, including attorney Frederick Biesecker, his wife Mary Scull Biesecker, and the Tuesday Afternoon Club. Originally the library was housed within the home of William H. Koontz at 139 E Union Street before relocating to the First National Bank Building. In 1941, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) commissioned the creation of a new library at 230 S Rosina Avenue, designed by famous Pittsburgh architect Charles Morse Stotz and his brother Edward Stotz Jr. in the Colonial Revival style common to New Deal architecture. 

The library opened at its current location in May 1943, when it was renamed the Mary S. Biesecker Memorial Library after co-founder Mary Scull Biesecker. Besides its book collection, the Library contains three murals by artists Esther Topp Edmonds, Kindred MacLeary and Alexander Kostellow, commissioned through the WPA, along with original art prints by Katherine Milhous, head of the Federal Arts Project (FAP) in Philadelphia. For many years the Library included its own collection upstairs and a separate County Library downstairs, until the County Library moved to its current location on Glades Pike.