The needler in the haystack.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Exhibit of Detwiller Collection drawings opens at Library


The Plainfield Public Library, one of a handful of modernist buildings in the city,
houses an outstanding collection of local architectural drawings.

The Plainfield
Public Library is mounting an exhibition from its Detwiller Collection of architectural drawings in honor of New Jersey's 350th anniversary.

Plainfield architect Charles H. Detwiller, Jr., is credited with rescuing thousands of architectural drawings that were being disposed of by the City by dumping from an upper floor window at City Hall into a dumpster in the parking lot.

The collection of over 16,000 items representing over 500 architects documents over a century of residential and commercial architecture in the Plainfield area. Its record of the architectural history of a suburban community is unique in the United States.

Among its outstanding items of interest are drawings of the Fire Headquarters on Central Avenue designed by architect George Ernest Robinson in 1925 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The exhibit culls 70 pieces from thirty-five sets of drawings by 24 architects. It is displayed on walls and in display cases on both levels of the Library.

Preservation of these aging documents began in 1998. The conservation and digitizing of the collection is still ongoing. This work is entirely supported through grant funding and volunteer efforts. Local funders  include the Plainfield Foundation and the Friends of the Plainfield Public Library.

The exhibit opens September 2 and runs through October during regular library hours. For more information on the Detwiller Collection, contact Sarah Hull, head of the Local History Department at (908) 757-1111 x136.

To arrange group visits, call (908) 757-1111 x129. The Plainfield Public Library is at Park Avenue and West 8th Street and is an accessible facility. Parking is available in the 8th and 9th Street lots.



NOTE: This post has been changed to correct information about George Ernest Robinson contained in the original press release.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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