Experiencing Great Architecture and Creative Built Environments


Hoyt Public Library (1890)

Van Brunt and Howe, Architects

505 Janes Avenue, Saginaw, MI 48607

Aerial View and Map

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Visited September 25, 2011

Boston Architectural Firm Van Brunt and Howe won a national competition to design Saginaw’s Richardsonian Romanesque Hoyt Public Library. Interestingly enough H.H. Richardson himself entered the competition, but according to reports, his designs were rejected for being “too monumental, wasteful of space, and not functional as libraries.” (The Richardson design was said to have been constructed later as the Public Library in New Orleans, LA – I will have to investigate…when is Mardi Gras next year?)

Link to Hoyt Library Website with History

U.S. Post Office, Saginaw MI (1897)

William Martin Aiken, Architect

500 Federal Avenue, Saginaw MI 48607

Aerial View and Map

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Visited September 25, 2011

I stayed on the outskirts of Saginaw after my visit to the Alden B. Dow buildings in Midland. Sunday morning, after a quick brunch, I decided to take the “Business Route” through downtown Saginaw, rather than just hop on the expressway and bypass the city center.

In the back of my mind, from who knows what source, I thought that there was a historic Post Office that had been turned into a museum in Saginaw. A quick internet search on my phone verified that this in fact was the case, and there was a historic Richardsonian Romanesque library just next door as well.

The Post Office is a large elaborate French chateauesque building. Some quick research revealed the architect was William Martin Aiken who was the supervising Architect for the US Treasury. Currently known as The Castle Museum, the building is open to the public.

Resplendent with all of the gargoyles, finials, and assorted goo-gahs you would expect in a high Renaissance style building, this old post office still stands in a downtown where obviously many buildings have dissapeared over the years.