Built in 1911, (foundation stone has the date October 1910) the building was designed by local architect F Guilford W Dudley, after a competition. It followed the typical Carnegie formula of a grand entrance accessed by a flight of steps. It is locally listed. The builder was Mr OP Drover of Kettering.
It continued to house the City’s public library until replaced in the 1980s by a new one in the Maltings development on the opposite side of Victoria Street. The library closed on 18 April 1988, and was sold. It is now an O’Neills Bar. You can still see the stained glass window which includes Andrew Carnegie holding the building in his hands.
Current status: Bar/restaurant (2018)
- Year grant given (if known): Approach made in August 1909.
- Amount of grant: £3,000. Building eventually cost £4,290. Carnegie was approached again in 1912, and he contributed a further £597 (see Talking Buildings report linked below)
- Year opened (and by who – if known): 10 October 1911, by Andrew Carnegie
Photo of library today (2011):
Old photo of library (postcard):
Nothing in my collection yet
- Note – Carnegie was presented with the freedom of St Albans in 1911 (see film held by the BFI)
- St Albans museums ‘Talking Buildings’ project: The Carnegie library, the philanthropist and firkin, and O’Neills