May 2014 Last Look: One Building Divided Between Two Countries
The Haskell Free Library and Opera House was intentionally built straddling the border between Quebec and Vermont.
This story is part of Governing's annual International issue.
Library users and theatergoers in the towns of Derby Line, Vt., and Stanstead, Quebec, have something in common. Besides sharing an international border, they also share a combination library/theater. Completed in 1904, the Haskell Free Library and Opera House was intentionally built astride the border to provide the two communities with a cultural center. A painted line delineating the border runs across the floors of both the library on the ground floor and the opera house above it. In the library, the stacks are in Canada, and upstairs in the opera house, audiences sitting in the U.S. applaud performers on the Canadian stage. Locals say that the Haskell is “the only library in America with no books” and “the only opera house in America with no stage.” There are a few jurisdictional complications. For instance, if the opera house needed to be evacuated, patrons must exit through a newly built fire escape on the Canadian side of the building. As a result, any Americans in the audience would have to immediately report to the immigration office up the road.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
LATEST INFRASTRUCTURE & ENVIRONMENT HEADLINES
NTSB: D.C. Metro Has Had ‘Severe Learning Disability’ When It Comes to Safety10 hours ago
Local Fracking Ban Struck Down by Colorado's Highest Court1 day ago
Feds Subpoena Detroit for Blight Removal Records1 day ago
Texas High Court Strikes Down Houston's Air Pollution Rules2 days ago
The Miami Method for Zoning: Consistency Over Chaos3 days ago
Remembering Cincinnati’s Old Streetcars3 days ago