While the George Peabody Library will always be my favorite book haunt – and indeed, one of my favorite places – the Enoch Pratt Free Library is also dear to me and integral to the social and intellectual fabric of Baltimore.
Pratt himself was among the coterie of insiders entrusted to lead the Peabody Institute and for many years served on the board of directors. In his own philanthropic endeavors, he was a force for good in his adopted hometown.
The Main Branch of the Pratt, just a few blocks from Peabody, is a testament to his vision. Unlike the granite-clad, overwrought horrors housing the public collections of other cities, the Pratt Library was designed to resemble a department store.
The people of Baltimore needn’t climb stairs to get their read on: the books can be accessed from street level.