Former Ueda Municipal Library


(Continued from previous article)
I came to the former Ueda Municipal Library on foot.
At this time, as a roadwork was carried out in front of the building, so there are signs and cones on the sidewalk.

The white object sandwiched between the red cones at the bottom left is the information board for this building. It was installed in 1993, so it was written as “Former Ueda City Library (currently Tsuruzo Ishii Museum of Art)". The building was designated as a cultural property of Ueda City on February 3rd of 1993.

The name is “former Ueda Municipal Library", but the beginning was a hall named “Meiji Kinenkan" built by the Ueda Men’s Elementary School Alumni Association. Although it was called a memorial hall, it was a building that was built as a library from the beginning.

It was built in 1915 and was donated to Ueda City in 1923. (Ueda Town became Ueda City due to the enforcement of the city system in 1919.) 
After that, it was used as the Ueda City Library until 1970, then it was used as a branch office of the city office.

In 1985, the Tsuruzo Ishii Museum of Art was opened using this building. As I wrote in the previous article, Ishii was invited as a sculpture instructor to a seminar for arts and crafts education held in Ueda City in 1924. The seminars continued for the next 46 years until he was 83 years old. By the relationship, the art museum was established here. 

However, due to the problem of earthquake resistance, the museum was relocated and moved to the second floor of the Chiisagata-Ueda Education Hall in 2008.
After that, it seems that this building was only used for events sometimes.

Even so, there was  an action to utilize this building. In 2010, the “Silkworm City Ueda Hall" was opened by renting a facility from the city as a “salon for exchanging between citizens and the community". It was an activity called the “Silkworm City Ueda Project" that was initiated by companies, universities, and volunteers from the city.
Ueda’s silk-reeling industry study group was held, and exchange events and exhibitions were held, but it was closed in May 2015 due to the problem of earthquake resistance.

Unfortunately I have never entered in this building. Are there any opportunity to enter the building in the future?
Looking at the materials of Ueda City in 2020, the name is still listed as the cultural properties designated by Ueda City, so I would like to expect it to be utilized.

I had passed the front of the building ever, but I’ve never seen the back side. So I went around to look at the back side, there was a construction sign. It looks like an office for working the front road, not the construction of this building.

I walked to see if there was a place overlooking the entire building, but it seems impossible.

Is here the best position to outlook ? 

I came to the front side again. The information board says.

With its uneven wall surfaces, shallow eaves, mansard roof (a roof that changes its slope halfway through), which gives the impression that the entire building is wrapped in a single surface, and panels embedded in various parts of the walls. In Nagano prefecture, it is a representative example of Art Nouveau style, which swept the world’s design world from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century.

Going east (on the right in the photo above) on the road in front of this building, it will find the Ueda Shinzancho Church, United Church of Christ in Japan of the about 350m ahead. I made this a pop-up card, so I’ll post a photo of it again.
(The main site is here.)

Ueda Shinzancho Church.

This is a card I made 7 years ago.

(Translated : 2021.03.15)