Thursday, July 2, 2009

1915 Carnegie Library, Parsons, Kansas


1907 - The voters of Parsons approved the question of establishing a free city library. Andrew Carnegie was contacted, and agreed to give $22,500 for the construction of a new building if the city provided the site and pledged annual support. A site at the corner of Broadway and Seventeenth Streets was purchased for $6,500, the funds being raised by subscriptions. The following year, E.F. Parker, a Kansas City architect, was hired, and the city council approved a resolution to levy the first library tax in Parsons.

1909 - The dream of having a free public library in Parsons was finally realized, and the new Carnegie Library building was officially opened in ceremonies on May 18. The building, one story with a basement, was built of Carthage stone backed with concrete, with a clay tile roof, dome, and copper gutters. The style was primarily derived from Beaux-Arts Classicism, and has a rather elaborate entrance that employs a Serliana motif with Ionic columns. The name “Carnegie Library” is carved above the entrance. At opening, the library had 3,655 volumes. [SOURCE]

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