Since 2006, Paul Chaffee and his friend, the late Bob Maul have provided funds for the illumination of 13 architecturally prominent Saginaw buildings to call attention to what they believed were neglected artifacts of Saginaw’s lush architectural legacy. The latest building to be illuminated is the Hoyt Library in downtown Saginaw during a lighting ceremony on February 13th
The Hoyt Public Library of Saginaw was a gift to the city of Saginaw by Jesse Hoyt of New York, he was never a permanent resident but had several business ventures in Saginaw. His last visit to Saginaw was in 1877; after that ill health prevented his return. With the advice and counsel of his Saginaw attorney, William L. Webber, he drafted a will with bequests to the city of East Saginaw the sum of $100,000 for the establishment of a library on a site owned by Mr. Hoyt. He purposely limited the amount so that the citizens would have to contribute to the support of the library, if they really wanted it to flourish.
After a national competition among leading architects, the Hoyt Trust chose the Boston architectural firm of Van Brunt and Howe. When the Richardsonain Romanesque style building was completed it exemplified modern library construction. The present building includes a 1921 addition by Edward Tilton of New York and a 1960 addition by Frederick E. Wigen Architects of Saginaw.