27. The Library's Original Footprint
As revealed by the footprint shown on this 1874 Wheeler & Blaisdell plan of the Concord Free Public Library property, the library originally occupied only part of the lot that William Munroe first purchased for it. Munroe knew, however, that while the building would grow over time, parcels at the edge of Concord's business district would always be at a premium, and he took steps to ensure that there would be space for expansion. In 1869, he bought land from Cyrus Benjamin, the Main Street abutter, for fifty dollars, and in 1875 another piece of Benjamin property for one thousand dollars. The Library Corporation acquired the Intermediate School lot on Sudbury Road - then located between what had been Brooks property and what is now known as the Fay/Benson House at 46 Sudbury Road. (The school building itself - shown in this plan - was annexed to the library in 1889.)
Despite these efforts, after multiple renovations the library building would come to fill most of the parcels at the Main Street/Sudbury Road intersection.
In drawing this plan, Wheeler & Blaisdell also included the Bigelow house on Sudbury Road (in 1874 home of the widow of blacksmith Francis Edwin Bigelow) and the Bigelow blacksmith shop next door.