California Carnegie Libraries: A-N

Serigraph published by M.A. Sheehan

In the summer of 2013 and winter of 2014, I found enough California Carnegie Library postcards to warrant dividing the page.
There are nicer history pages out there, but this is updated as often as possible.


My main sources are Free to All and Carnegie Libraries of California.


Funded in 1899, but opened nearly four years later. Replaced in the late 1990s.

Lovely Edward H. Mitchell postcard, never mailed.


1905 - 1929

1903 grant that was hardly worth James Bertram's time and Mr. Carnegie's money.

(L) Edw. H. Mitchell card, mailed 1913.
(R) Pacific Novelty Co. card, never mailed.


1904 grant.
Replaced in 1982, then wickedly remodeled. Now the Chico Museum.

Edward H. Mitchell card also showing the Majestic Theater.

You don't see a lot of Gothic library buildings in California, and the theater is also a little staid.


1906 grant.
Replaced in 1982, then gently remodeled. Now the Colton Museum.

Pacific Novelty Company postcard, never mailed.


1905 grant; built in 1906.
Its architecture shows a Midwestern influence in the use of rusticated stone.
Replaced in 1964. Now serves as the police department.

The Litho-Chrome postcard was mailed to Elgin, Illinois, sometime after 1907.


1906 - 1978.
Vacant from 1971 until its demolition.

(L) M. Rieder card, with unevenly divided back, printed in Germany and mailed in 1908.
(R) This 1907 message reads in part: 'Say there are lots of good oranges here.' Sent to Wisconsin in early March.



Built 1903.

Now the Morris Graves Museum of Art, according to the Carnegie Libraries of California web page. Sometime along the way, the dome was replaced by a skylight. Probably more sensible in earthquake-prone areas.

(L) Written (1905) on the Edw. H. Mitchell card is:

This is on F and Seventh Sts. - right back of the Reilinger house - opposite Convent. - about a yr. old.

(R) Newer Edward H. Mitchell card, mailed in 1911.


In use 1910 - 1975; currently a museum.

Library subsumed into Santa Clara County Library, but at least someone had the common sense to reuse the original building. (There is still a Gilroy facility.)

The card is from the Pacific Novelty Co. of San Francisco, and is unusual in its colors and lettering style.


In use 1914 - 1973. The WPA added two sections just prior to World War II. Demolished in 1977.

The card was produced by M. Kashower. The date above the entrance looks more like 1919 than 1914.


In use 1906 - 1971; since 1975, a museum.

This is a lighter form of Romanesque architecture, courtesy of McDougall Brothers architects.

Lovely Newman post card, produced soon after the library was built.



Considered to be Spanish Colonial Revival architecture: architects of record were Smith & Stone.

Clear View brand card out of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, with signature aluminized border.


1909 grant; built in 1911, and replaced in 1988. Oh well, if you've gotta go, going to be blended with a wine library is not the worst fate. The Carnegie building is now a museum.

Rather nondescript Pacific Novelty Company card, never mailed.


I have no card contemporary with the Carnegie building's appearance.
Late 1910 grant: opened in 1912, and replaced in 1965. Apparently there were safety issues involved. Notice the stucco coat.

This Columbia Wholesale Supply chrome is hard to date. We do know that its photographer was Max Mahon.


1906 - 1958

Upon annexation to Los Angeles in 1910, this Tudor Revival library became a branch library, the first of several indignities to befall this Carnegie project before its demolition in 1958.
The current Hollywood branch is a Frank Gehry edifice. No hooray for Hollywood from me.


1914 grant; built in 1918, and replaced in 1985. Now in use by the UC-Davis limnologists.
The lake is Clear Lake.

Beautiful hand colored card, with some water damage limited to the sky.

 Long Beach

1909 - 1972

Demolished in 1973 subsequent to a fire. This wasn't the most distinguished (Classical Revival) library, but these are among the better postcards in my collection.

(L) Published by Pacific Novelty for the Newman Post Card Co.
(R) Published by Edward H. Mitchell of San Francisco.
Benham card displays ground cover
better than it does the library.
Unmarked RPPC is unmistakably this library. Not so distinguished as the other cards,
but showing yet another angle.
Longshaw card, published in Los Angeles,
postmarked in 1959.


1908 - 1956

It didn't even make it to middle age.

Sweet, glorious youth! Flower beds! Pampas grass! Flowering trees! Curt Teich, you tried your hardest on this card.


A Christmas present (12/24/1907, per Bobinski) for Monterey resulting in a library serving the public from 1911 - 1952.
Lovely combination of Mission, Moorish, and the 'standard' Carnegie style.

Pretty Edw. H. Mitchell card, never mailed.

© 2011 - 2014 Judy Aulik
Divided from O - Z in April, 2014.
Return to Library Postcards: Civic Pride in a Lost America.