Archive for March 2013

OZ comes to New Jersey   Leave a comment

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OZ comes to New Jersey

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This dreamy new Library creates a world of its own on a mountaintop in Mt. Olive,  home to John Neill the illustrator of the famous Wizard of Oz books.

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Mt. Olive, rich in iron deposits, attracted a number of famous artists who enjoyed the peaceful, wooded landscape and natural materials they could use in their art.  The foreman of the Louis Comfort Tiffany studios, the sculptor of the Atlas Statue at Rockefeller Center, and the illustrator of the Frank Baum Oz books all lived here.  Given  an eight acre site with sweeping views, DENNIS KOWAL ARCHITECTS was sure to include generous windows, natural  stone materials, and a tribute to John Neill, the illustrator of the famous Oz series.

The Library is “V” shaped  with an adult and children’s wing.   The local history section displays some of the original Oz books while the children’s wing is entered through a stone gateway that depicts the lion, the tin man and the scarecrow.  The Library interior reflects the agricultural history of the town with barn-like exposed heavy timber trusses and a carpet embroidered with Olive branches!

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The Children’s room features cloud-like light fixtures, a story room that looks like a cottage, and stone pillars that divide the sections.  The custom designed shelving units have end display cases that feature books and themes.   Residents feel that the Library is a perfect complement to their community.

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.Yellow brick appropriately covers the floor at the entrance to the Children’s wing.  John Neill first illustrated Dorothy as blonde and about ten years of age.
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