University of Tennessee - Hoskins Library

When BarberMcMurry designed the James D. Hoskins Library for the University of Tennessee in 1931, the building was the main library on campus. 

Its elaborate Collegiate Gothic design includes a central castellated tower — a well known landmark on The Hill. The red brick exterior is accented with limestone and ornate, arched windows. Inside, the woodwork and primary reading rooms have a strong Arts and Crafts styling. The elaborate ornamentation inside the building includes murals, etched glass, engravings and decorated beams, pillars, arches and ceilings. The ceiling stencils were completed by Hugh Tyler, who was the uncle of famed novelist James Agee, and a frequent collaborator with BarberMcMurry. 

The painted, arched ceilings in the stairwells and corridors depict the names of famous authors, while the decorative wooden archways in the reading rooms display literary quotations and sayings — among them, “Books are for company the best friends and counselors” and “Wisdom adorns riches and shadows poverty.” 

Hoskins Library served as the main campus library until 1986, when Hodges was completed. Today, Hoskins is home to some of the University’s special collections.

Completion Date: 1931

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

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