Wanskuck Library first opened in 1910 in a building provided rent-free by the Wanskuck Company, which paid for utilities and provided janitorial services, and also provided the new library with the 1,117 volumes that had formerly been housed in the companyâ€™s library for its employees. In November of 1928, PPL opened a new branch library building on Veasie Street for Wanskuck residents. Designed by Howe & Church and constructed by the Balchin Construction Company, the building cost approximately $62,400, which included the price of the land, the building itself, and the furnishings.
The Wanskuck Library was the first of seven branch libraries that PPL planned to construct from the late 1920s through the 1930s. Ultimately, five of the seven branch buildings would actually be completed.
While Providence Public Library paid for the construction of this first new branch out of its own funds, it quickly became clear to PPLâ€™s trustees that the organization did not have the financial means to erect the rest of the branches it intended to build without outside help. The trustees approached city officials and asked for assistance. They devised a â€œcooperative arrangementâ€ that would cover the additional expenses incurred by the construction of the next three branch buildings: South Providence, Rochambeau and Smith Hill.