Minnesota Carnegie Libraries, I - Z

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.

 Lake City

Lake City, MN Carnegie Library

1917 grant: demolished in 1967. This was a tiny example. It's hard to adapt something this small.

Photo postcard shows a glimpse of the business district at far left.


Litchfield, MN Carnegie Library Litchfield, MN Carnegie Library

1903 grant. Built 1904: houses office space today.

(L) The postcard isn't as gaudily tinted as some of its brethren.
(R) German card for H.H. Co.: mailed in 1909.

 Little Falls

Little Falls, MN Carnegie Library

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.


Luverne, MN Carnegie Library

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.


Mankato, MN Carnegie library Mankato, MN Carnegie library

(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.

Mankato, MN Carnegie library

(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.


Marshall, MN Carnegie library Marshall, MN Carnegie library Marshall, MN Carnegie library

(L) Improbable color scheme on this early (mailed 1907) Curt Teich card with an unevenly divided back.
(C) Haney the Druggist published this monochrome card. Surprisingly, it's even older.
(R) Photo postcard by Crescent Photo Co. of Minneapolis. Mailed in 1927.

Replaced by the Marshall-Lyon County Library: current fate of the 1903 building is unknown.


Moorhead, MN Carnegie library Moorhead, MN Carnegie library

Currently part of Lake Agassiz Regional Library.

1904 Carnegie grant: 1906 building. Demolished in 1963.

(L) B.F. Mackall really snapped to the demand for a postcard of this library: this example was mailed in 1906.
(R) W.M. Neshelm card, much more attractive, was mailed sometime in 1907 or later.


Montevideo, MN Carnegie library

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.


Morris, MN Carnegie library

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.


Pipestone, MN Carnegie library Pipestone, MN Carnegie library

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.

(L) Black and White brand card.
(R) Printed in Germany, never mailed.


Preston, MN Library and City Hall

Late 1909 grant.
Opened in 1912.
Took over the city hall space in 1996.
I still don't know which half originally held the library.

The photo postcard was mailed on May 18th. Which one, I don't know.

 Redwood Falls

Redwood Falls, MN Carnegie library Redwood Falls, MN Carnegie library

Another 1904 building, replaced in early 1996. Now serves as a law office.
However, the new library has a lovely interior. Could it be redwood?

(L) There is no publication information on the postcard, but it might be the same as that as the Walker card below. Beside the right hand card, some other cards that might come from the same printer include Barron, Wisconsin's and Fulton, Illinois' hideously tinted cards.
(R) Curiously captioned, 'Group of Public Buildings, Redwood Falls, Minn.'

 Sauk Centre

Sauk Centre, MN Carnegie library and Community Honor Roll Sauk Centre, MN Carnegie library and JHS

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.

 Spring Valley

Spring Valley, MN Carnegie library

Built in 1904. Surprisingly, there was no precursor library.

This is another of those unattributed, gaudily tinted cards so common for midwestern library buildings.

 St. Cloud

St. Cloud, MN Carnegie library St. Cloud, MN Carnegie library

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 visible.
(R) Curt Teich linen finish card dates from 1946.

St. Cloud, MN Carnegie library St. Cloud, MN Carnegie library

(L) Photo postcard, mailed in 1908.
(R) Rotograph card with entire back, produced between 1904 and 1907. Generally, their postcards display their subjects in a more attractive manner than on this card. However, it was Handcolored.

 St. Peter

St. Peter, MN Carnegie library

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.


Stillwater, MN Carnegie library Stillwater, MN Carnegie library

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 Harbors

Two Harbors, MN Enlargment of Carnegie building

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.


Virginia, MN Carnegie library Virginia, MN Carnegie library

In use: 1907-1912.
Yes, you read that right.

Placeography attempts to explain the contempt. It was outgrown by 1911 and the second grant proposal failed.

So was this little brick building torn down right after replacement?
First it went to the Canadian National Railway; then it housed various charitable organizations before housing a wine house. It was demolished in 1953 for the Water and Light Department's expansion.
You can see that the water tower was quite close at hand.

(L) Card produced for the Woolworth dime store chain.
(R) The Bloom Bros. card has an unevenly divided reverse and was mailed in 1910.


Walker, MN Carnegie library

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.


Stillwater, MN Carnegie library Stillwater, MN Carnegie library

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.


Worthington, MN Carnegie library

1903 Carnegie grant; card postmarked 1916. Demolished in 1966.


Zumbrota, MN Carnegie library

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 library.

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 - 2013 Judy Aulik
Divided 01 December 2013 from A - H.
Updated 12 July 2013.