With the advent of the Placeography website, some missing details (primarily pertaining to architects of record) about the Carnegie buildings have been added.
There were 65 Carnegie buildings. I like to think this results from that Upper Midwest mixture of Lutheran socialism and Scandinavian frugality.
You might also be interested in the 'Carnegie Library Tour' of Placeography.
1902 grant. Its architects--Schick and Ross of LaCrosse, WI--also designed the Sparta Free Library in their home state.
Replaced in 1968: minor alterations effect its service as an office building.
Amazing photo card by the Albert Lea Souvenir Co., capturing the Beaux Arts/Classical Revival building in all its splendor.
1901 Carnegie Library. Damaged by a 1928 tornado, remodeled in similar fashion to Downers Grove (IL), 1964. Per Placeography, razed 1996.
The older card has a postmark too blurred to yield a date.
The older card (L) dates from soon after construction. The
landscaping of the newer card (R) looks to be about 3-5 years
1908 grant, built 1909.
Designed by W.D. Gillespie, and is now the Bemidji Community Art Center.
Just like the card shows, the Carnegie building is on the lakefront, which makes its survival even more amazing.
Bemidji's library is part of the Kitchigami Regional Library System.
(L) This is called a 'Photochrome by W.A. Fisher Co., Bemidji, Minn.'
(R) Bloom Bros. card printed in Minneapolis.
1912 grant. Replaced in 1992.
1903 grant: replaced in the mid-1980s. Still standing and part of the National Register of Historic Places.
Woolworth's card, probably published by Curt Teich. Mailed in 1912.
Late 1908 grant: still in use. Designed by Kinney and Halden, but built by the A.C. Thomas Corporation. Someone was quite insistent that one does not take the shortest line between two points to reach the entrance.
L.L. Cook card, mailed in 1949, with some unfortunate water damage.
Late 1903 grant. Replaced, but still standing (2008). Part of the Lake Agassiz Regional Library.
(L) Harry W. Brandow card, mailed in 1909.
(R) Bloom Bros. postcard which seemed to have been utilized for the March 14, 1974 Windy City Postcard Club gathering.
Two cards illustrate why you can't rely on linen finish cards for a totally accurate picture of a building. Still, it's a pretty good example of Prairie style. It should be, as a Claude & Starck design.
1911 Carnegie building. Currently a branch of Lake Agassiz Regional Library, as is Crookston.
Minnesota State Historical Society's description concurs. I wish that their photo gallery was a little more extensive. The city website at least gives a current picture.
1901 grant: built in 1902. Replaced ca. 1980.
Two beautiful pre-WWI postcards. Neither was postally used: both have divided backs.
A rather pretty building (3 grants dating since 1899) with some stylistic quirks, such as a tile roof coupled with Federal building details, including that dome.
(R) 1910 or 1911 Curt Teich 'American Art' card printed for the Duluth Photo Engraving Company. Unusually for a Curt Teich product, photo credit is given (Mc Kinzie).
Currently, the building appears to be owned by a management firm whose stated goal is to restore the building. I have no independent confirmation of this.
The new building is rather scary looking. It has a Rorschach quality: I see an aerial hockey rink. Perhaps you see a ship's prow.
The Hockey Hall of Fame gets a much more prominent place on the city's website. In another gesture of disrespect, the library collection spent some time in the Eveleth high school.
1911 Carnegie grant, built in 1914, expanded in 1924. Still in use.
Architect William J. Sullivan designed more Carnegie buildings, along with the amazing Naniboujou Club Lodge.
1903 grant: demolished in 1968. Replaced by the Martin County Library, which incorporates some salvage from the Carnegie building of 1904.
This is yet another of those cards with lurid, unnecessary tinting.
1907 grant: opened in 1908. Per Placeography, its architect was A.S. Foss, from Elbow Lake. Probably not the most challenging contract.
Still in use.
(L) Photo postcard showing no signs of activity. Perhaps taken pre-opening?
(R) Black and White brand card, also never mailed.
(L) Original facade of the Carnegie building, built from a 1905 grant.
(R) Real photo, post-1938 WPA modernization.
The rest of the Carnegie building was engulfed between 1968 and 1971. After 2002, occupied by the Carnegie Business Center. Do any of those engineers realize they work in such a historic structure?
1906 grant. Demolished, with a sadly vacant lot and a historic marker all that remains.
Despite the reverse of this scan, all we know is that it's a 'Glazed Lithochrome Style' card. Aubin took the photo, however, which is clearer than the
photo card above.
Either the building is copyrighted, or the circled C above the entrance stands for Carnegie.
1903 grant. Either recently replaced, or in the process.
The postcard isn't as gaudily tinted as some of its ilk.
1902 grant. Still in use, as part of the Great River Regional Library.
It's in red brick, in case you wondered, with a stunning river rock foundation. The front wall has the Carnegie Library inscription, and A.D. 1904 just over the entrance.
Card mailed in 1938.
1903 grant. No longer in use as a library.
Per Placeography, this is a Greene and Gillham design. They call it a 'Beaux Arts building ... Richardsonian Romanesque flavor.'
Darn spiffy building, which in 2007 bore a red coat on its stucco, and white portico. The dressed stone seems to have been left in a oxblood sandstone. It is repurposed as the Carnegie Cultural Center.
This real photo card was mailed in 1940.
(L) This V.O. Hammon card is of rather mediocre quality overall, but someone there had a talent at making retouched leaves look real.
(R) The public library (1901 grant) is in the upper left corner of the card. This link will take you to a picture on the opposite end of the size spectrum.
(R) This view is identical to that on the card above, but the card appears to be a Curt Teich product.
Back in the days of Mankato State, Mankato also boasted a library school.
(L) Improbable color scheme on this early (mailed 1907) Curt Teich card with an unevenly divided back.
(R) Haney the Druggist published this monochrome card. Surprisingly, it's even older.
Replaced by the Marshall-Lyon County Library: current fate of the 1903 building is unknown.
Currently part of Lake Agassiz Regional Library.
1906 Carnegie grant. Replaced by a building that looks as if it was built in the late 1950s.
Carnegie library no longer in use. Service for the community is now provided by Pioneerland Library System.
Late 1905 grant. Possibly abandoned in 1968. Restored in the 1980s, per Placeography.
Even though this conforms to the 'standard' plan, Martin Granum served as the architect of record.
Self framed card, publisher unknown.
Built 1904. Replaced 1969. The Carnegie building was repurposed as the Stevens County History Museum. German, self-framed card published by the St. Paul Souvenir Co.
1903 grant: opened 1904.
Great googly-moogly, what a Carnegie building! Looks like the Pipestonians have been very ambivalent about their library, moving it into the school library, and transferring this building to the Pipestone Senior Center.
The combined collection is the Meinders Community Library.
Another 1904 building, replaced in early 1996. The new library has a lovely interior. Could it be redwood?
There is no publication information on the postcard, but it might be the same as that as the Walker and the Blue Earth cards below. Some other cards that might come from the same printer include Barron, Wisconsin's and Fulton, Illinois' hideously tinted cards.
1903 Carnegie grant. Still in use, with an addition. Now part of the Great River Regional Library. An unusual feature of this building is the dormer, used instead of a dome.
(L) This E.C. Kropp card, mimicking the Curt Teich Photo-Platin and the Black and White series, also features the city's junior high school. If you are able to read its caption, the city name is misspelled as 'Sauk Center.'
It was mailed in 1954.
(R) Sometime between the production of the E.C. Kropp card and this L.L. Cook photo card, the junior high school in back of the library was torn down.
Built in 1904. Surprisingly, there was no precursor library.
This is another of those unattributed, gaudily tinted cards so common for midwestern library buildings.
1901 Carnegie grant. Built by Patton, Fisher and Miller. The WPA built an addition in 1939. It was replaced in 1979 and demolished in 1981.
Now part of the Great River Regional Library system.
(L) The card was postmarked 1910, but has no statement of responsibility
(R) Curt Teich linen finish card dates from 1946.
Rotograph card with entire back, produced between 1904 and 1907. Generally, their postcards display their subjects in a more attractive manner than in this card. However, it was Handcolored.
Replaced, possibly due to 1998 tornado damage. Today, it has been converted to use as an office building.
1903 Carnegie grant. The building (architects R.D. Church and Ole Fredrickson)
is somewhat similar
in plan to the Des Plaines, Illinois Carnegie building. It was added to the
National Register in 1983.
The card is of the Bloom Bros. Quality Line, but also has 'Gilbert' worked into the divider on the reverse.
A Patton, Fisher, and Miller design.
The 1902 Carnegie building was renovated in 1972-3, 1987 and 2006. It spent the final construction year in a local mall. From its web site, it looks as if everything went well. Good thing it was finished before the economy bottomed out.
(L) A V.O. Hammon card also shows a streetcar.
(R) Very clean, early, view of the library.
Two grants (February and August, 1908) are most appropriate for this city. The library is still in use.
The architect was Austin Terryberry.
(L) E.C. Kropp card, mailed 1927. Clockwise, from upper left are: Carnegie Public Library, Presbyterian Church, Salvation Army Building,
Lake County Courthouse.
(R) Enlargement of upper left corner.
1910 building, lost to a 1976 fire. Library part of the Kitchigami Regional Library System.
There is no publication information on the postcard, but it is most likely the same as that as the Redwood Falls card below.
Early 1903 Carnegie grant. Built in 1904; replaced in 1966. Fate unknown.
This was a small example of a Carnegie building built on a corner lot.
(L) Notice the details of people and a fence across the unpaved street. Mailed in 1908.
(R) Poor quality card mailed in 1906.
1903 Carnegie grant; card postmarked 1916. Demolished in 1966.
Per Placeography, the smallest (and alphabetically last) Carnegie building in Minnesota
Late 1906 grant. Damaged in a 1924 fire. Replaced in 1995: serves as an art gallery and pottery studio today.
Beautiful photo postcard by A. Pearson. Mailed 1950.
Drop that mouse and visit your public library.
(Or, if you're viewing this in the library,
set the mouse down carefully.) All the following resources were found at a local
Bial, Raymond and Linda LaPuma. 1991. The Carnegie Library in Illinois.
(With Photography by Raymond Bial.)
Bobinski, George S. 1969. Carnegie Libraries: Their History and Impact on American Public Library Development.
Dickson, Paul. 1986. The Library in America: A Celebration in Words and Pictures.
Frye, Lonn. 1992. Carnegie Libraries: Restoration and Expansion.
Krass, Peter. 2002. Carnegie.
Van Slyck, Abigail. 1995. Free to All: Carnegie Libraries and the American Culture, 1890-1920.
© 2007 - 2012 Judy Aulik
Uploaded 17 August 2007.
Updated 26 November 2012.