Side A: The first tax supported free public library in Columbus was formed in 1873 and housed in City Hall. In 1901, City Librarian John Pugh petitioned Andrew Carnegie for funding and was granted $200,000. In 1903, the Swayne home was razed and construction began. The library opened to the public on April 4, 1907. The library’s purpose is inscribed on the front of the building – Bibliotheca Fons Eruditionis: The library is a fountain of learning; Our Treasures Are Within; and Open To All.
Side B: The home of Judge Noah Swayne was located on this site from 1848 to 1903. Between the 1860s and 1880s, the home served as the Governor’s Mansion. Noah Swayne served as a State Representative in 1829 and 1836, U.S. Attorney General for the Ohio district beginning in 1830 and on the first Columbus City Council in 1834. President Abraham Lincoln appointed him as Supreme Court Justice in 1862. In 1902 the house was sold to the City of Columbus for the new library.