Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Public Library, Charlotte, North Carolina

[LIB8042] Undated postcard.

In 1901, philanthropist Andrew Carnegie agreed to donate $25,000 for a library building, if the city would furnish a site and taxes to support operations. The tax was approved by vote of citizens on May 6, 1901. The building, with an imposing classical fa├žade and a grand total of 2,526 books, was dedicated and opened to the public on July 2, 1903 in the 300 block of North Tryon Street. The Carnegie Library`s 1903 charter also provided for the Brevard Street Library for Negroes, the first library of its kind in the state. It opened as an independent institution at the corner of Brevard and East 2nd Street in 1905, becoming a branch of the Charlotte Public Library in 1929, and continuing to operate until 1961. This branch was independent of the Carnegie Library and overseen by a separate board of prominent black citizens. Lydia Schencks was appointed librarian, and the city appropriated $400 for the first year of operation. [Website]

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