Savanna to Winchester, so far: Illinois Carnegie libraries from alphabetically impaired localities comprise this page.
Anyone out there with a Vienna card?
Completed in 1905 after a bit of a cost overrun. Still in use (2005). In real life, I mistook this building for a post office. In my defense, I didn't acquire this card until 2007.
2000 addition. Still in use.
(L) Later C.T. Photo-Finish card, not as heavily retouched as many cards
of the series.
(R) Blue tinted sky on a Photoette card by C.U. Williams. Unevenly divided back.
'C.T. Blue Sky - Made Only by Curt Teich & Co., Inc., Chicago, U.S.A.'
It's the real thing, apparently, made for Kunkel's 5c to $1.00 Stores in 1931.
Nice library site with a spiffy photo of the main desk.
Now known as the Richard A. Mautino Memorial Library.
Built in 1912 remarkably quickly after the January 27 grant approval.
Minor renovation in 2001; children's wing and Veteran's Wing added in 2004.
This L.L. Cook photocard shows the unusual brickwork with light and dark brick used to great visual effect. The maturity of the trees implies that the card dates from the 1950s at earliest.
1904 - 1974
According to Leigh Kimmel, on the Leviathan's Libraries page, this was the library which provoked Andrew Carnegie into specifying practical structures, ending the era of creative Carnegie buildings. She stated about this building:The architecture of the Lincoln Library, like so many Carnegie libraries of the early period, was a chaos of columns and wasted air space, incorporating sixteen distinct architectural styles.
(I can only pick out 3. So there.)
Carnegie himself did not want his name on the building.
Abe was in no condition to protest.
St. Charles Township
Finished in 1908, and still in use a century later.
Bial and Bial mention a 1963 addition, but from a recent visit, there seems to have been at least one more since then. Fortunately, the front portion is still intact. In real life, the brick is an attractive deep brown shade seldom seen in Chicago area buildings.
(L) E.C. Kropp mailed in 1916. Colors are fairly accurate.
(R) Pseudo 'Blue Sky' card mailed in 1931.
Considered by everyone except its residents to be a twin city of Rock Falls.
(L) An unusual angle shot of the Carnegie building, showing the rear wing. There is no clue to the age of this card, but it probably was printed before 1920.
However, the card on the lower right has a postmark of 1908. There is a pile of stones to the left of the building. On the other cards, it looks as if there is a building close the the left of the library. Because of that, I think that the third card is the oldest.
(R, above) This angle picks up a very small mailbox.
(R, below) Poof, no mailbox.
A straight-on view is on the library's web site.
Apparently the building (1903 Carnegie grant) is still in use.
Visit this building through the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency web page.
(L) 'this is a gift of Andrew Canargie.'
So Mrs. Clice Shell was informed in 1907 on the left hand card printed by the 'Ind-Times P'T'G & Eng. Co.'
(R) The other card, published by the F.W. Kirby & Co., informed Ada that Roy was spending a few days with Effie.
Built in 1905, apparently with the same plan as Greenville's building. Just a heads-up: this library really is red.
Even redder than the right-hand card shows.
Still in use, albeit with at least one large addition. The library's website is beautifully designed; the addition, less so.
Sycamore is one of Illinois' Lincoln Highway cities, and lies just east of DeKalb.
Here's another Sycamore card, and it's the epitome of anonymity.
No waiting on a party line. Just look at that honkin' telephone pole.
Building status unknown: the library has no website. Other library sites indicate there is still library service in the community.
(L) German card, imported and published by M.J. Hogan of Taylorville. Sent 1913.
(R) Mailed 1911. Street signs indicate this is the corner of Market St. and S. Webster.
It looks like there's something missing on this building, but I can't figure out what.
1903 grant. A Plinkit page serves as its web site. They are working on a history page. Apparently there is a drive afoot to replace this building.
Photo postcard mailed in 1941. Its plate code leads me to believe that this is an L.L. Cook card.
This tiny library was built in 1903 in what looked like a less-than-prosperous neighborhood.
(R) It doesn't seem as if the unknown, probably German printer did a thing to improve the photo. Perhaps he used a patented drabification process.
(L) Photo card addressed, ca. 1940, to a Miss Grumbles.
Imagine my surprise to find out it is still in use a century later, having undergone a 1997 ADA-compliant renovation, and a total renovation in 1998.
And it's rather pretty after all, as the Real Photo card shows.
Upper Alton (Shurtleff College)
The caption on the post-1911 card states:
New Carnegie Library, Upper Alton, Ill. Shurtleff College in background. Carnegie Libraries in Illinois, covering only the public libraries of the state, does not list this building or mention the grant.
Alton's Hayner Library indicates the Carnegie building was part of Shurtleff.
Today, Shurtleff College's campus is part of the SIUE Dental School. The college closed in 1957, after 133 years as a Baptist Institution. I can't imagine that its campus would have converted easily to its new function.
Confirmed as a 1911 Carnegie building, built by Patton and Miller. Still standing in 1991, according to the Bials' book.
(L) C.R. Childs card from Chicago.
(R) This postcard has it all. It had even more before I realized the object to the right of the water tower is a street light suspended from overhead wires, not an airplane.
History from the Bials' 1996 book.
Final Carnegie grant received in 1903: superceded in 1965. The building was used by the local YMCA until 1980. Abandoned, but still standing in 2009. It's a popular photographic subject on sites such as Flickr.
These two cards are very similar, appearing to have shared origins in a single photograph. The color card was produced by the Simplicity Co. of Chicago, but there is no publisher's or photographer's information on the monochrome card.
The publisher of this card is also unknown.
The building in the righthand background was a hotel, per correspondent Douglas Winston. It may have been the 'Elmore.'
The next building beyond was a Chicago Northwestern R.R. station. Both have been razed.
The function of the lefthand building is unknown. Its sign ends in SON.
1903 - 1951
(L) The city fathers must have been positively apoplectic when they saw this card (around 1907). Gack, it's hideous. On the back is written (1909):Hello Charlie, This is the new library in Wilmette on the corner of 12 str and Wilmette Ave. ...
(R) Photo postcard from the same era reveals a very beautiful Claude & Starck building.
Wilmette Public Library serves Kenilworth and Wilmette on Chicago's North Shore.
Carnegie building built in 1910 on land donated by Mrs. Percy Grout. I don't know why that fact tickles me so. Sometime between the time the card photo (L) was taken, and 1991, when Bial and Bial's Carnegie Libraries in Illinois was published, a large addition was built on the lefthand side of the building.
This building is absolutely modern in appearance, and still is, thanks to the sensitive renovation. I could easily imagine living in this building. It looks as if the picture was taken fairly soon after construction was finished in 1910. The older card was mailed in 1913.
Illinois Carnegie Libraries Listed by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency
At this point, the only way to see the non-linked library is to visit the pertinent IHPA site.
- Arcola Carnegie Public Library
- Danville Public Library
- Ayer Public Library (Delavan)
- El Paso Public Library
- Greenville Public Library
- Havana Public Library
- Hoopeston Carnegie Public Library
- Jacksonville Public Library
- Lincoln Public Library
- Litchfield Public Library
- Olney Carnegie Library
- Paris Carnegie Public Library
- Paxton Carnegie Public Library
- Buffalo Township Public Library (Polo)
- Streator Public Library
- Vienna Public Library
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That obligatory disclaimer
All text is under copyright by the author. Cards are presented for scholarly study: most are significantly older than 1928. You may link, and even deep-link to its pages, but you may not claim any part as your own nor link to individual images.
©2003 - 2013 Judy Aulik
Divided from N - R on 17 June 2009.Return to the home page.
Updated 02 January 2013.