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
States May Downshift Regulations for Driverless Cars1 day ago
When It Comes to Waste, San Francisco Isn't As Green As It Thinks1 day ago
Obama Takes On Zoning Laws to Address Housing Shortage2 days ago
The Never-Ending Debate About Fluoride in Tap Water2 days ago
Portland Converts 600 Bathrooms to Gender-Neutral2 days ago
In Cash-Strapped States, Voters Could Protect Transportation Funds5 days ago