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Cranston City Hall
869 Park Ave, Cranston, RI 02910
Cranston City Hall is the nucleus of the city's government and where the city is officially run and managed. It's alsoMore where residents go to get copies of vital records, pay their taxes or handle their building or zoning permit requests. Cranston, with a population of about 80,000, is presided over by Mayor Allan W. Fung and represents a microcosm of the United States, combining rural farmlands in the west, dense urban life in the east and several tightly-knit suburban communities that range from postwar suburban developments like Garden City and historic villages with colonial roots, like Pawtuxet Village and Oak Lawn. The offices of the board of canvassers, the personnel department, information technology and tax assessor can be found on the first floor. On the second floor, the city auditor, tax collector, city clerk and finance and purchasing departments are located. The third floor holds the offices of mayor, planning department and economic development as well as the city council chambers, which is where city council meetings and Probate Court hearings are convened. City Hall was constructed with Works Progress Administration funds in 1936. The building was designed by Howe and Church and ended up located on Park Avenue after a political battle between the Republican party, which was the dominant political force, and the Democrats, who preferred city hall to remain in Knightsville. The decision to locate City Hall in Auburn was made against the advice of the City Plan Commission, but it solidified Auburn as the center of civic life in Cranston.  A directory of city departments and phone numbers is available at the city's website or by calling the main number.
William H. Hall Free Library
1825 Broad St, Cranston, RI 02905
The William Hall Library was the first official public library in Cranston when it opened as the Edgewood Library 1897More in a small house at the corner of Park and Warwick Avenues. Hall, a prominent businessman, established a fund to form the library in his will. He died in 1916. Hall (1837-1916) was an entrepreneur and a well-respected member of the Cranston community, serving on the Cranston City Council, state Senate and House of Representatives. He was never defeated in his numerous runs for office and legend has it he started his first business at 18 with just $50, selling fruits and vegetables from a small market on Broad Street. The library was renamed in 1921 after the Edgewood Free Public Library was transitioned into the new William H. Hall Free Library, run by a board of trustees envisioned in Hall's will. After a lengthy public debate, a new, elegant building was built on the grounds of Hall's former mansion on Broad Street. It was opened to the public on Nov. 13, 1927. The building combines elements of Georgian and Italian Renaissance design with a curved arches over the loggia and white pillars. Three double glass and bronze doors open to an impressive, high-cieling interior.  The library boasts a large collection of fiction, nonfiction, reference and children's books. It also serves as a community center and gathering place. Though he was childless, Hall was an ardent supporter of learning and children's issues. Long after his death, the William H. Hall Library stands as a monument to his desire to enrich the lives of Cranston's youth.
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