Friday, March 25, 2011

Niagara Library, Niagara Falls, New York


By 1898, the collection consisted of 5,000 volumes supervised by Adele Barnum, the first paid librarian. Growing pains continued and, by 1901, Niagara Falls Power Company Director William B. Rankin came to the rescue by securing a $500,000 grant for a library building from Pittsburgh Steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. A site at the corner of Main Street and Ashland Avenue was chosen, and in 1904, the library moved into spacious new quarters with marble floors, brass fixtures and room for 13,134 volumes. WEBSITE []

This building was designed by E.E. Joralemon who also designed the Carnegie Library in North Tonawanda. This building features stained-glass skylights and once had a second level whose floor was made of glass blocks. Both are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

This building was renovated with Federal funds in 1995 but it has not been used as a library since the 1970s when a new library opened nearby. It's now used for City Offices. WAYMARKING []

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