Sunday, December 13, 2009

William Howard Brett house

William Howard Brett house

This house, at 2250 East 49th Street in Cleveland, was the residence of William Howard Brett (1846-1918), head librarian of Cleveland Public Library from 1884-1918, and proponent of the concept of open shelving of books.



The concept of open shelving is especially important as, before this time, books in libraries were usually kept in closed stacks - patrons had to request the individual books that they wanted. Brett was a prominent educator in the field of library science. He was dean of the library school at Western Reserve University, and president of the American Library Association in 1896. This special issue of The Open Shelf, September-October, 1918, provides a detailed memorial of his life.

William Howard Brett house

Note the floral detailing on the front porch trim. It is unclear which parts of the house were built before and after Brett lived here.

William Howard Brett house

The house and adjacent lot are owned by 4HNB LLC, whose mailing addres is, 3277 Tullamore Rd, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118.

William Howard Brett house

This house should not be allowed to fall into any worse condition than it is. Further, it deserves a historical marker to share the story of this prominent resident.

4 comments:

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  2. This was my great-great grandfather. Thank you for posting this!

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  3. This should be a historical marker, I agree. I enjoyed learning online that William first worked at my great great grandfather's bookstore Cobb, Andrews and Co. before he became Cleveland's well known librarian. Our family is still a huge promoter in education and friendly service attitudes, glad our ancestors hired this man!

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