Where in the World is Evan: Toledo, Ohio, Main Library

The LND’s Researcher-at-Large, Evan Kalish, was traveling across Ohio looking for New Deal public works when he came across the beautiful Toledo Main Library. The Public Works Administration (PWA) and Work Projects Administration (WPA) were involved in the construction of this magnificent 1939-40 library, which features a breathtaking frieze around the entire atrium. The six-foot-tall artwork was created by inlaying hand-cut glass pieces on panels of colored Vitrolite. This spectacular mural was designed by New York-based artist John Benson. Artist Frank Sohn designed the “Philosophy” panel. The PWA supplied the funding for the project, while the WPA supplied the labor. The building was dedicated in 1940 and is still in service today as the city’s public library.

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