Illinois Carnegie Library Postcards: S-Z

Savanna to Wyoming: Anyone out there with a Vienna card?


Savanna, IL Carnegie library

Completed in 1905 after a bit of a cost overrun. Still in use. In real life, I mistook this building for a post office.

In my defense, I didn't acquire this card until 2007.


Shelbyville, IL Carnegie library (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.
Shelbyville, IL Carnegie library
Shelbyville, IL Carnegie library (L) Sepia card from ca. 1907, from an unknown printer.
(R) Photo postcard by Beale Photo of Mattoon, Illinois.
Shelbyville, IL Carnegie library

1903 grant. Dedicated 1905. 1995 'facelift.' 2000 addition. Still in use.

Nice library site with a spiffy photo of the main desk.

Spring Valley

Spring Valley, IL Carnegie building

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.

Springfield (Lincoln Library)

Springfield, IL Carnegie building 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.)
Springfield, IL Carnegie building
Springfield, IL Carnegie building (L) Card mailed 1909.
(R) Unattributable card.
Springfield, IL Carnegie building

1904 - 1974
Carnegie himself did not want his name on the building.
Abe was in no condition to protest.

St. Charles Township

St. Charles, IL Carnegie building (L) E.C. Kropp post card mailed in 1916. Colors are fairly accurate.
(R) Pseudo 'Blue Sky' card mailed in 1931.
St. Charles, IL Carnegie building

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.


Sterling, IL Carnegie building Sterling, IL Carnegie building Sterling, IL Carnegie building
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.
This angle picks up a very small mailbox. Poof, no mailbox.
However, this card 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 to the left of the library. Because of that, I think that the third card is the oldest.

Considered by everyone--except its residents--to be a twin city of Rock Falls.

Apparently the building (1903 Carnegie grant) is still in use.


Streator, IL Carnegie building (L) Printed by the 'Ind-Times P'T'G & Eng. Co.' Mailed in 1907 and preserved in remarkable condition.
(R) Published by the F.W. Kirby & Co., this postcard informed Ada that Roy was spending a few days with Effie.
Streator, IL Carnegie building

Built 1903.
Visit this building through the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency web page.


Sycamore, IL Carnegie building Sycamore, IL Carnegie building Sycamore, IL Carnegie building
Curt Teich 'Blue-Sky' postcard. Just a heads-up: this library really is red.
Very red.
Even redder than the card above shows.
Here's another Sycamore card, and it's the epitome of anonymity.
No caption.
No attribution.
No traffic.
No waiting on a party line. Just look at that honkin' telephone pole.

Built in 1905, apparently with the same plan as Greenville's building. Still in use, albeit with at least one large, discordant addition.
Sycamore is one of Illinois' Lincoln Highway cities, and lies just east of DeKalb.


Taylorville, IL Carnegie building (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.
Taylorville, IL Carnegie building

Carnegie building status unknown: the Library's web site shows a modern building. There seems to be no readily available information online as to its fate.

It looks like there's something missing on this building, but I can't figure out what.


Toulon, IL carnegie building

1903 grant. Replaced in 2012: as of 2014, still standing.

Photo postcard mailed in 1941. Its plate code leads me to believe that this is an L.L. Cook card.


Tuscola, IL Carnegie building Tuscola, IL Carnegie building Tuscola, IL Carnegie building
Photo card addressed ca. 1940,
to a Miss Grumbles.
C.U. Williams 'Photoette'
cards vary significantly in quality.
This is one of the better views,
showing five library patrons,
perhaps waiting for the library
to open for the day.
You can also see a glimpse
of the neighborhood.
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.

This tiny library was built in 1903 in what looked like a less-than-prosperous neighborhood.

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.


Warren, IL Carnegie building (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.
Warren, IL Carnegie building

Confirmed as a 1911 Carnegie building, built by Patton and Miller. Still in use.


Waukegan, IL Carnegie building Waukegan, IL Carnegie building Waukegan, IL Carnegie building
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.

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.

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.


Wilmette, IL Carnegie building Wilmette, IL Carnegie building Wilmette, IL Carnegie building
The city fathers must have been
positively apoplectic when they saw
this ca. 1907 card.
It is 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. ...
C.R. Childs' views
are generally much nicer
than its competitors' products.
This card was mailed in 1936,
and is probably the most recent
of the Wilmette collection.
Photo postcard from the same era reveals a very beautiful Claude & Starck building.

1903 - 1951
Wilmette Public Library serves Kenilworth and Wilmette on Chicago's North Shore.


Winchester, IL Carnegie building Winchester, IL Carnegie building Winchester, IL Carnegie building
Unattributed photo card. Possibly an E.C. Kropp card. May be a C.U. Williams' card.

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.


Wyoming, IL Carnegie library

1913 grant. Still in use.
This is a timeless structure which doesn't resemble any other Illinois libraries of which I am familiar.

The photograph is by Pauli Brothers, and is dated 1915. I suspect it was taken prior to the Library's occupancy.

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.

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 - 2014 Judy Aulik
Major update: 19 September 2014.
Minor update: 18 October 2014.

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