It’s not surprising that 100 year old buildings make the news fairly regularly. In some cases there are celebrations as a centenary is reached – in others a building which is no longer a library has a new purpose. I gather references to such news stories, which record the changing nature of the Carnegie legacy – and share them here.
General article: Carnegie Libraries spring up all around the United States Refers to several of the libraries funded in Missouri: Bolivar, Marshfield and Springfield
Another general article, which gives updates of various libraries in New York and Pennsylvania: State and Union – area’s Carnegie libraries stand the test of time (2018)
- California: East Oakland – Former historic East Oakland library burns second time in a year (2018) Library was empty, and new use was being investigated, but it was destroyed this time. Article contains lots of information on the history of the building.
- California: Hanford – Events and tours at the Carnegie Museum 2017 Article about the museum, which describes how it opened as Hanford’s first library in 1905. The building remained a library until 1968 – then reopened as a museum in 1975.
- California: Orangeville – The library, a vibrant place (2018) Article mentions recent renovations
- California: Redding – The Carnegie public library in Redding (2016) Demolished. The article contains a photo of the library, and the site as it looks today (and the new library elsewhere in the town, that replaced it.)
- Connecticut: Unionville – Unionville marks 100th anniversary of Carnegie library. 2017 article. Now the town’s museum, Unionville’s West End library was built in 1917 after a grant of $8,500 was awarded, but closed as a library in the 1960s.
- Illinois: Charleston – Library goes beyond books, builds community – still going strong in 2017
- Illinois: Waukeegan – Ray Bradbury experience museum planning to start in smaller space, eventual move to the old Carnegie library (2018). Title says is all! Currently the old library is
- Iowa: Eldon – Eldon commences library renovation Opened in 1913, this is one of 49 Carnegie libraries in Iowa still in use as a library. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.
- Iowa: Indianola – PastTimes: How Indianola got its Carnegie (Library) Details the history of the building, from the town’s receipt of a $10,000 grant in 1903, to its current situation: owned by the Des Moines Metro Opera, which is planning a $3.5 million renovation of the facility.
- Kansas: New Hope – Story of rebuilding town focuses on Carnegie libraries [note – this is a novel – and although, apparently, New Hope sounds like Greensburg, Kansas, it isn’t!]
- Maine: Talk on Maine’s Carnegie libraries (2017) Home to 20 carnegie libraries, and “Most of [them] still serve their original purpose”.
- Minnesota: Minnesota’s 66 Carnegie libraries (2018) Sixty-five public libraries were built in Minnesota from grants totaling $969,375 awarded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York from 1901 to 1918. In addition, Hamline University in St. Paul was awarded a $30,000 grant on March 12, 1906, to construct an academic library. In Minnesota grants were given between 1899 and 1918.
Of Minnesota’s 66 original Carnegie libraries, 48 are still standing; 25 continue to house public libraries while others have been adapted into art centers or office space. Of the 18 lost libraries, one burned down and the rest were demolished, often because they were unworkably deficient in handicap accessibility. Thirtyeight of the surviving libraries are listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)
- Minnesota: Alexandria – An intimate evening at the historic Carnegie library – also includes book ref: Libraries of Minnesota, by Doug Ohman
- Minnesota: Eveleth – Eveleth’s 1914 Carnegie library has stood the test of time (2018) The library moved out for a while in the late 1960s, (services were delivered from a school, but the city kept the building – which was used as tax offices, and for back office library functions) but moved back in 1973.
- Minnesota: Mankato – Carnegie and Ridgely buildings to get landmark designation (2018) Library was opened in 1903, but closed on 13 April, 1977. It now operates as the Carnegie Arts Center – a visual arts gallery.
- Minnesota: St Pauls – St. Paul’s century-old Carnegie libraries head their separate ways (2016) The 3 Carnegie libraries in the city celebrated their centenaries in 2016: Riverview library, St Anthony Park library, and the East Side Freedom library (no longer a public library, the latter is a museum and library devoted to labour history). ALSO: St Anthony Park and 3 other St Paul libraries celebrating 100 years.
- Mississippi: Meridian – Study stirs memories of segregated library in Meridian The Carnegie Negro Library of Meridian opened in 1913 at 13th Street and 28th Avenue, the first library for African Americans in Lauderdale County. “The small Meridian building where black children savored a few hours of solitude in a segregated South was last used as a library in 1974 and was torn down in 2008.” See also: Carnegie Negro Library of Meridian
- Nebraska: Blair – Blair library treasure rescued from recycling A scrapbook of news stories started when the library opened in 1915!
- New York: Brooklyn – About the Carnegie libraries in Brooklyn
- Ohio: East Liverpool – Carnegie library awarded early learning grant and A centre of Knowledge < article which confirms the East Liverpool Carnegie library opened in 1902, as one of the first carnegie libraries in Ohio. Andrew Carnegie actually spent much of his childhood in East Liverpool and had many friends here.
- Ohio: Greenville – Greenville Carnegie library a reminder of great things (2018) Still a library, and included on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Ohio: Mansfield – One of Mansfield’s jewels: the Carnegie library (2018)
- Ohio: Mansfield – Then and Now: Mansfield’s public library (2018)
- Ohio: Newport – 112 year old gem nestled in new Newport (2014) Library converted into an events space (although at the time of writing, it was up for sale).
- Ohio: Willoughby – Willoughby, Willowick library renovations to be completed in May (2017)
- Ohio: Xenia – Saving Xenia’s old library ‘about more than brick and mortar’ < the library (built in 1904) has been vacant since the tornado in 1974, but is in good condition, and the Friends group is working to find a new use for it (2017). ALSO: 5 things you should know about the Xenia Carnegie. Confirms the grant was $20,000, with a later addition of $3,500 to furnish it. It opened in June 1906.
- Oklahoma: Collinsville – Collinsville library celebrates the centennial of its opening (2017) Of the 24 libraries endowed by Carnegie in the state, this is one of 9 still in use as a library. The others are: Elk City, El Reno, Frederick, Hobart, Perry, Sapulpa, Tahlequah and Wagoner.
- Oregon: Baker City – no longer a library, now the Crossroads Carnegie Art centre. Their website has a page with lots of information about their history
- Oregon: Oregon City – 104 year old Carnegie library refurbished in 2017 and featured in a roundup celebrating library design.
- Pennsylvania: Carnegie – Carnegie Borough signs 20-year pact ensuring funding for library, music hall
- Pennsylvania: Hamburg – Pieces of History: Hamburg Public Library was funded by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie
- Pennsylvania: Philadelphia – An oasis in a resource desert: the Lillian Marrero library
- South Carolina: Kingstree – WHS celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Carnegie public library
- Texas: Ballinger – Taste of Ballinger benefits Carnegie Library annual fundraising event
- Texas: Bryan – Why 3 libraries claim to be the oldest in Texas Includes the Carnegie library in Bryan
- Texas: Terrell – The 1904 Carnegie library in Terrell Record of a photo in the Library of Congress collection – mentions that the library is now the Terrell heritage museum.
- Washington DC: Carnegie library of Washington DC Story behind Washington’s first central library, now used as offices by a historical society, and for the occasional exhibition.
- Washington: Ballard, Seattle – The many lives of the Ballard Carnegie library (2018) Finally closed as a library in 1963 (too small). Currently mostly occupied by a pub (but has had many uses, including retail)
- Washington: Snohomish – Restore Snohomish’s Carnegie building to its original grandeur < letter from a resident excited about plans in 2017. Also links to library website – the building is now the Carnegie Educational Centre.
- Wisconsin: Bayfield – Bayfield Carnegie library makes top five in state (2018)
- Wisconsin: Two Rivers – Lester library true to mission after 125 years The Carnegie legacy relates to the second library building in the town – built in 1915, it remained the towns library until 1997.
- Wyoming: ‘Cowboy Carnegies’ on display – A travelling exhibition celebrates the history and architecture of Wyoming’s 16 Carnegie libraries
- Wyoming: Casper – When Carnegie helped Casper to build its first library (2018) Photo essay of the development of the library, that was eventually demolished in 1970.
- Manitoba: Winnipeg – Expansion plans, upgrades scheduled for historic Winnipeg libraries Two of Winnipeg’s three original libraries (The St. John’s and Cornish Libraries, in north and south Winnipeg respectively) are about to undergo major expansions that will bring them up to 21st century standards.
- Ontario: Norwood – Norwood library could get facelift
- Ontario: Wellington County Library system invests $30 million in heritage properties and new technologies Plans include updating the 5 Carnegie libraries in the county – including Palmerston branch, built in 1903, which reopened in 2016 after a $3.5-million renovation.
Updates about libraries in England are included in each specific page.
Noticed this planned general research, which aimed to look at Carnegie buildings across the whole of the UK: AHRC funded project: Shelf-Life; Re-imagining the future of Carnegie Public Libraries
- Burntisland: Library set to re-open doors (2017, after repairs and maintenance)
- Dunfermline: Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries shortlisted for top Scottish architectural awards (2017) ALSO First Carnegie library transformed in £12.4 million expansion (2017)
- Edinburgh: Critical repairs needed at one of Scotland’s most popular libraries (2018) Survey has highlighted “critical” issues with the Category A-listed building’s ceilings, internal walls, doors and electrics, which indicate repairs totaling £750,316 will be needed over the next three to five years.
- Dun Laoghaire: Ideas to be sought for re-use of former Dun Laoghaire library Opened in 1912, used as a library for 100 years, until replaced by the new LexIcon library. The architects – O’Callaghan and Webb, also designed the Carnegie library in Tralee, Co Kerry.