Thursday, May 29, 2014

1910 Library, Dowagiac, Michigan


1907 Library, Moberly, Missouri


1947 Carnegie Lawther Library, Red Wing, Minnesota


1947 Carnegie Lawther Library, Red Wing, Minnesota

On December 14, 1901 the city of Red Wing secured $15,000 from Carnegie to build the Carnegie-Lawther Free Library. This initial sum was then raised to $17,000 to complete the building. The name 'Lawther' in the library's title recognises James Lawther who donated the land to the city in memory of his son. Plans were prepared by architect A.F. Gauger and the contractor was W.J. Longcor. The library was dedicated and opened on October 24, 1903.

While the Carnegie grant was used to construct the building, the Red Wing community had to provide a suitable site and were expected to tax themselves at the annual rate of 10% of the grant amount. This requirement imposed by Carnegie ensured a long-term commitment for the purchase of books, staff costs and maintenance of the library building.

With the need for expansion, the city of Red Wing determined the Carnegie building could not be remodelled or expanded. The Carnegie-Lawther Free Library was demolished in 1968 and the new public library was completed in 1969.

The Carnegie-Lawther Free Library was a one storey brick building with a raised rusticated stone basement defined by a smooth stone water table. The Classical Revival style building was covered with a hipped roof and gabled entrance way. The building had many decorative features that referenced classical architecture. For example, the brick pilasters at each corner, the projecting entrance porch with full triangular pediment and the elaborate entablature. Enclosed in the pediment was a small round window. The portico featured various order of columns that stood on a stone pedestal. The different columns included free-standing Doric columns sited next to free-standing square columns and behind these were square pilasters flanking the doorway. Detail was extended even further around the doorway with mini pediment, columns and the words 'Library, A.D 1902'. The emphasis on the entrance space creates a grand opening to the interior of the building and is characteristic of Carnegie Library design. Fortunately we know about a lot the interior of the original building as it was described in the 'History of Goodhue County' published in 1909. At the time of construction the interior was finished with a highly polished golden oak with a cream and olive green colour scheme. In the reception room at the right of the entrance a wide painted border of thistles and shamrocks were in honor of the ancestry and heritage of Carnegie and Lawther. [Thanks to, you can read more by clicking here.]

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

1909 Carnegie Library, Charlotte, North Carolina


1912 Carnegie Library, N.D.A.C., Fargo, North Dakota

[LIB11057] - Fargo’s first public library building opened on this date in 1903. The library, heavily funded by businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, “…stood on the northeast corner of Roberts Street and First Avenue North” for nearly seven decades.

Prior to the opening of the Carnegie library, Fargo’s library had been operating since 1900 out of a room in the Masonic Temple building, with books donated by community members. The city of Fargo submitted an application for a Carnegie library grant in 1901, and was approved for a grant of $20,000 on March 6th of that year. In 1905, the North Dakota Agricultural College (now NDSU) and the Fargo College also secured grants for Carnegie libraries. In total, eleven Carnegie libraries were built in the state.

Peter White Public Library, Marquette, Michigan

[LIB11056] - Peter White Public Library (PWPL) is located on the corner of Front and Ridge Streets near downtown Marquette, Michigan. Founded in 1871, the Peter White Public Library has served Marquette area residents for more than a century.

The Peter White Public Library (PWPL) was founded by Peter White and located within the City Hall. At that time, he donated "the sum of $4,000 to found a public library in the city, to be under the government of five trustees and $1,000 to be expanded in the purchase of cases and in completing a room in the new city hall.” Mr. White always provided space for the Library. It was later housed in the First National Bank Building on the south corner of Front and Spring Streets and later still in the Thurber Block on Washington Street where BookWorld now stands. The school district library and Peter White's private library were combined on March 27, 1891, by a special act of the Michigan Legislature, to become the Peter White Public Library. [Website]

1908 Starr Library, Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont


1913 Colonial Library, Trinidad, British West Indies


1912 Library Room Interior, Brazil, Indiana


1905 Stevens Memorial Library, Attica, New York

[LIB11052] Built in 1893.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

1905, Public Library, New York, New York

[LIB11051] This looks like an architectural model for the library. As the sender says, "It is a grand one inside."

1920, Carnegie Public Library, Estherville, Iowa

[LIB11050] - In 1902, W.P. Ward, City Supervisor, corresponded with Andrew Carnegie in regard to a gift for a Library building in Estherville.  Mayor Hartung received a letter from Carnegie stating he would give $10,000 to the city with the understanding that the city furnish a site and pledge $1,000 annually for its support. In 1903 the Carnegie building was completed and occupied by Fall.  First official Librarian:  Sade Davidson. [Website]

Shute Memorial Library, Everett, Massachusetts


Smiley Library, Redlands, California


1910 Library, Washington State College, Pullman, Washington


Now known as Bryan Hall.

Library, Imperial, Nebraska

[LIB11046] Website

Library, Ayer, Massachusetts


Friday, May 23, 2014

1907 Carnegie Library, Freeport, Maine

[LIB11044] Website

1908 Carnegie Library, Tuscola, Illinois

[LIB11043] The Tuscola library was built in 1903 with a Carnegie grant, which was based on the census of the community at $2 per person, and funds donated by the Woman's Club. The design of the Illinois Carnegie libraries was dominated by two architectural firms, Paul Morantz of Bloomington and Patton and Miller of Chicago, and were Classical Revival in style. Morantz was the architect for the Tuscola library. [Website]

Public Library, Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

[LIB11042] Website

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

1906 Free Public Library, New Bedford, Massachusetts


1946 Carnegie Public Library, Lee, Massachusetts


The Lee Library is the only remaining Carnegie library building in the Berkshires. Not only does the building have great beauty, but it has great historical significance.

The original part of the present building was built in 1907. The total cost of the building, including the lot and furnishings, was $35,500. Andrew Carnegie donated $12,000, the town appropriated $18,300, and the remainder was donated by concerned citizens. Lee Marble Works quarried and cut the marble used in the construction of the building. The original section of the building is Corinthian in style, with interior woodwork of polished birch. [Website]

1910 Library, Windsor, Vermont


Monday, May 19, 2014

Public Library, Belmond, Iowa

[LIB11036] Website

1910 Phelps Free Library, Big Rapids, Michigan

[LIB11035] In 1893 Harriet C. Phelps dies, leaving her home to the City of Big Rapids to be used as a library. In 1903 the Phelps Free Library opens. [Website]

1917, Public Library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

[LIB11034] Website

Carnegie Library, Lawton, Oklahoma

[LIB11033] 1916 The City received a $25,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie which was used to build the Carnegie Library. [Website]

1915 Carnegie Library, Rice Lake, Wisconsin

[LIB11032] Website

1910 Bancroft Memorial Library, Hopedale, Massachusetts

[LIB11031] - The Bancroft Memorial Library was built in 1898 by Joseph Bubier Bancroft in memory of his wife, Sylvia W. Thwing Bancroft. The building is of pink Milford granite with a slate shingled roof. It was designed by C. Howard Walker of the Boston architectural firm Walker & Kimball. The library was fashioned after the Merton College Chapel at Oxford. The library was dedicated and open to the public on December 14, 1899, at which time Joseph Bancroft transferred ownership of the library to the Town of Hopedale for one dollar. It has served as a public library without interruption since that time. The building is listed in the National Register and is part of the Hopedale Village National Historic District. [Website]

Friday, May 16, 2014

1904, Free Public Library, Orange, New Jersey

[LIB11030] Postcard published by F.G. Temme.

1909 Library, Pyne Point, Camden, New Jersey


Camden and Atlantic Railroad Poster
Camden and Atlantic Railroad Poster by stanrail
Look at Vintage Posters online at

1910, Free Library, East Hampton, Long Island, New York

[LIB11028] - The Library moved to its present location at the corner of Main Street and Buell Lane in 1912, on land donated by Mary Lorenzo Woodhouse. The architect Aymar Embury designed the building, which was also donated by the Woodhouses. The Library was designed in a neo-Elizabethan style
since many residents of that time wanted East Hampton architecture to conform to that of a pre-seventeenth century Kentish village, similar in looks to the one the original settlers had left behind.

1946 Library, Fort Roots, North Little Rock, Arkansas

[LIB11027] - Fort Logan H. Roots (usually referred to simply as Fort Roots) is a military base located in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The land was traded to the Federal Government in 1892 in exchange for the property now known as MacArthur Park, in Little Rock, which had been a military arsenal since the 1830s when Arkansas was a territory. The base was named for Congressman Logan H. Roots in recognition for his work in the negotiations.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Brown Memorial Library, Clinton, Maine


A beauty of a photo taken from the library's website. 

 “I wished to do something in the memory of my  dear parents who were my ideal of all that is best and purest in life…”

Thus spoken, William W. Brown, (1821-1911), dedicated a very special gift to his hometown of Clinton, Maine in remembrance of his parents Jonathan and Betsey (Michaels) Brown. That gift was Brown Memorial Library.

Hepburn Library, Colton, New York


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Kennedy Free Library, Spartanburg, South Carolina

[LIB11024] - Thanks to a gift from Mrs. Helen Fayssoux Kennedy of the lot where her husband's office once stood Spartanburg's first “public” library opened on October 17, 1885, on the top floor of a two-story building facing Kennedy Place in the central business district. Her gift honored her husband, Dr. Lionel Chalmers Kennedy, a well-known and respected physician who had died five years earlier. Among the library's first holdings was Dr. Kennedy's 600-volume medical library and some 300 other books collected by the citizens of Spartanburg.

Library, Cupples Hall, Central College, Fayette, Missouri

[LIB11023] - Built in 1896 by Samuel Cupples as a dormitory for men. In 1927 Cupples became a library to house the George M. Smiley collection. In 1969-70 it was renovated, and new addition was added that doubled the size of the library.

Library, Fairfield, Connecticut