This photo, which actually appears to be a photo of a post card, does not feature a mystery at all as it is obviously the old library building located across the street from City Hall.
The only real question for us to ponder, regarding this photo, is what year the photo was taken – my guess is before the 1926 fire that severely damaged the building and before it was repaired and reopened as the local public library in 1930.
The best in-depth history book on Corning & Painted Post is the one written by Thomas Dimitroff & Lois Janes titled
History of the CORNING Painted Post Area: 200 Years in Painted Post Country
and the book features some cool information on the World War Memorial Library – as follows:
“The City Club bought the Rogers lot at the corner of Pine and First Streets in 1894. Its new clubhouse opened there March 30, 1898;” and “Although attempts had been made to establish some type of World War I memorial, none of them had appealed to the various interested groups, and ten years after the war the city did not have a World War monument. During the same period, the library which the city had taken over in 1921, was finding it more difficult to provide service from crowded quarters on the upper floor of city hall. On Memorial Day, 1930, the two problems were solved with the dedication of the Memorial Library building.”
(Dimitroff and Janes 111, 236-237)
The authors go on to note that the Memorial Library building housed the library until its move to its current location in the Nasser Civic Center Plaza in 1975 where it was housed from 1975 until it closed in 1999.
And the “new” library, The Southeast Steuben County Library, opened in the same Nasser Civic Center location in 2000, where it remains today as a vibrant part of the local community.
Have a great weekend!
Dimitroff, Thomas P., and Lois Janes. History of the CORNING Painted Post Area: 200 Years in Painted Post Country. Bookmarks. Corning. 1991.