Monday, July 13, 2009

1904 Carnegie Library, Perth Amboy, NJ


From 1888, the Library has been housed in five different buildings. The Library was built on its present site on Jefferson Street, in 1901, on land donated by J. C. McCoy, of the Raritan Copper Works and constructed with the aid of a $20,000 grant from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation, a $1,000 donation from Adolph Lewisohn to purchase new books, and an agreement by the City to provide for the Library’s upkeep.

On December 9, 1903, the building, the first in New Jersey to be the beneficiary of Mr. Carnegie’s generosity, was opened to the Public. The growth of the Library from that time was so marked, that in 1914, the Carnegie Corporation donated an additional $30,000 for the creation of two reading rooms. A Children’s Library was built in 1925, unfortunately destroyed by fire in 1977, and was not rebuilt. The present Children’s Library is located in the basement of our building, in an area formerly used as a meeting room and theater. A branch Library was established in the Shull School building in 1925 and closed decades later when the school system required additional room for classroom use.

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