Monday, October 5, 2009

1923 Library, Bethany College, Bethany, WV


Bethany, a small college of national distinction, was founded March 2, 1840.

Now known as Cramblet Hall, and originally Carnegie Library, it is a three-story brick building with Berea stone trim. The brown-pressed brick was made on the grounds, and face brick and slate were hauled from Wellsburg, West Virginia, on the newly completed Wellsburg, Bethany, and Washington Railway Company (the trolley). The building is 95 feet long and 45 feet wide and contains 11,750 square feet.

In 1905, Andrew Carnegie, the great steel magnate and philanthropist, offered to give Bethany College $20,000 for a new library if the college could find matching funds. Construction began in April 1906 and was announced as complete by the Board of Trustees on June 8, 1908. There is no record of the architect, but President T. E. Cramblet announced to the Board of Trustees on June 8, 1908 that the college had saved about $5,000 by building the library itself. [Special thanks to Council of Independent Colleges, Historic Campus Architecture Project]

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