Carnegie Libraries of the Square States
Colorado, Utah & Wyoming


There were 35 Carnegie buildings. Obviously I have a ways to go. One history source, written in 1959, had been located on the Colorado Department of Education site.


Boulder Carnegie Library

Built in 1906. Nearly abandoned in 1961. Restored in 1981 and now in use as the Carnegie Branch Library.

Patterned after a Greek temple.

Williamson-Haffner postcard that may date from the era of the Great War.

Canon City

Canon City Carnegie Library

The Library itself was founded in 1886.
From a 1901 Carnegie grant, this building was begun in 1902, and opened in 1903. Still in use.

The early photo card, produced by Commercial Studio in Lamar, was mailed in 1910.

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs Carnegie library postcard (L) Rip-off 'Blue sky' card by H.H.T.Co. This card seems to be one of the most plentiful in the postcard collecting universe.
(R) Thayer Publishing Co. card, captioned, 'The Antlers Hotel and Public Library, Colorado Springs, Colorado.'
Colorado Springs Carnegie library postcard

1903 Carnegie grant. Building completed in 1905. 2002 renovation.
Library part of the Pikes Peak Library District, which contains another Carnegie building, the West End Carnegie Library.


Day view of Denver Carnegie library (L) Day.
(R) Night.
'Night' view of Denver Carnegie library
Denver Library and Pool (L) Public Library and North Section of the Civic Center, Denver Colorado
City and County Building in Background.

1903 grants: opened 1910. Replaced in 1956.
Now serves as Denver's Civic Center.
Searching 'Denver: The City Beautiful' delivers many web sites showing the beautiful, albeit a bit antiquated, downtown.
Eight other branches received Carnegie monies. All stand, but not all are in use (2014).

Corinthian style building. About fifteen years ago, I visited Denver and didn't realize that this building had been the library. I never saw any of the branches, either.


Durango, CO Carnegie Library

Early 1906 grant. Replaced; serves as Durango city offices.

Photo postcard, mailed in 1947.

Fort Collins

Ft. Collins Carnegie Library

Now the Poudre River Public Library District Library. The Carnegie building has been replaced, sometime after 1953, and is now a museum.

Sepia-tinted postcard mailed in 1912.

Grand Junction

Grand Jct. Carnegie Library (L) According to the Museum of Western Colorado's site, the colors on this unattributed card are accurate.
(R) Sedate card, mailed in 1905.
Grand Jct. Carnegie Library

An early Christmas present grant (December 21, 1899). Replaced in 1938. These Coloradians were not wild about Andy. Why Carnegie objected to the foundation (and even the porch), heaven only knows. Did the man expect the library to levitate? The library is now part of the Mesa County Libraries: the building demolished.


Lamar Carnegie Library (L) Unattributed card, printed in Germany.
(R) H. Gerstenlauer card, printed in Belgium.
Lamar Carnegie Library

Carnegie grant, 1906; Building built, 1908. Likely demolished.


Littleton Carnegie Library

Now the Bemis Public Library.

The Carnegie building resembled a railroad station, which is interesting because a grant from the Santa Fe railroad began the library collection in 1892. The Carnegie library opened in 1917 and was replaced in 1962.

The photo post card also captures a bent light pole.


Loveland Carnegie Library (L) Another sepia tinted Williamson-Haffner card.
(R) Curt Teich Doubletone card. This uncommon postcard line seems to have been competitive with the beautiful Rotograph cards.
Loveland Carnegie Library

1907 grant.

A remarkably plain corner building, this may have been organized with the uncommon fan stack configuration.


Manitou Carnegie Library

Actually, Manitou Springs.

Built 1910: still in use, essentially as is.
Good timelime, post-merge into the Pikes Peak Library District. Did you know that Manitou Springs branch is also known for its doll collection?

Very attractive H.H.T. Co. card.

Pueblo (McClelland Public Library)

Pueblo Carnegie Library (L) Curt Teich postcard, mailed 1921.
(R) Duplicate of previous card, but in better condition. Annotated, but never mailed. In the lower left of the card, there is a lawn sprinkler. I don't doubt its necessity in Pueblo, but am surprised at its early use.
Pueblo Carnegie Library

1902 grant.
Demolished in the mid-1960s.

Rocky Ford

Rocky Ford Carnegie Library

1907 grant.
Replaced fairly recently.

Postcard probably was published by C.U. Williams of Bloomington, IL. Notice the fallen leaves, and the retouched buds. One would think that there would have to be better publishers in Colorado.


1903 grant.
Still in use with a 1995 addition for a history room.

The card was produced for the S.H. Kress chain, often confused with S.S. Kresge.



Ogden, UT Carnegie Library

1901 grant; demolished in 1969.

Card for Gray News.


Provo, UT Carnegie Library

The WPA engulfed this building in 1939, similar to the fate of the Rockford, IL Carnegie building. I do not know what its current purpose is.

Lovely view on an evenly divided card postmarked 1910.



Buffalo, WY Library

AKA Johnson County Library. 1909 grant. Replaced in 1987.

The building in the back is the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum, which incorporated the library building in 1989.
I bet you think Jim Gatchell was some famous cowboy, or even a rodeo star, right?

Guess again. He was a druggist, and friend of the Sioux.


Cheyenne Carnegie Library (L) Colorado News Company card, Mailed in 1908. Entire back. Picture dates shortly after construction, as there is no landscaping, nor lawn, evident.
(R) High School and the $50,000 Carnegie Library. The library is in the background.
Cheyenne High School plus Carnegie Library
Cheyenne Carnegie Library (L) Unattributed card.
(R) 'On Union Pacific System' caption on a Curt Teich/Barkalow Bros. Publishing (Omaha) 'C.T. American Art' postcard.
Cheyenne Carnegie Library

1899 grant. 1902 building. Replaced in 1969, then demolished.


Cody Carnegie Library

Late Carnegie building in two aspects: Built in 1916, demolished for its replacement in 1965.

Sepia tinted card printed on buff paper by the Bloom Brothers of Minneapolis, and distributed by the Harding Curio and Drug Co.

Green River

Green River Carnegie Library (L) Monochrome view shows a natural wonder and a dirt street.
(R) Chas. E. Norris (Not Chuck, thankee!) postcard.
Green River Carnegie Library

1905 grant. 1906 building. Replaced, and serves as a County Circuit Court.
Nice view!


Lander Carnegie Library

Built in 1907 and now part of the Fremont County Library System. Surprisingly, the Carnegie building is in the middle of its second renovation.

1914 Curt Teich 'Colorchrom' card. More of an 'Offcolorchrom,' in my opinion. On the library's history page (unfortunately, no longer online), it's much more ochre.


Laramie Carnegie Library

1903 grant. 1927 expansion: remodeled in 1951. Building replaced in 1981. The Albany County Public Library is in need of another replacement building.

Interesting picture shows two men in hats lounging near the entrance. How they got there is a question, as the yard is surrounded by a barbed wire fence which includes a closed gate.
Can't let the cattle in.


Newcastle Carnegie Library

1911 grant. Awkwardly renovated.

1914 card from Curt Teich's 'Doublechrom' series. No idea here why Doublechrom cards are such special beasts. They do scan nicely. Note the car with whitewalls sinking into the mud of the street.


Sheridan Carnegie Library

1904 grant. Apparently replaced some time after 1963. I hope it's still standing, but I don't think it is.

Card published by Herbert Coffeen, who appears to have been a paragon of good taste. Did he have this printed in Germany?


Wheatland Carnegie Library

Salute to bilateral symmetry.

1916 grant. One of the last Carnegie buildings, and one with a far more interesting founding librarian, Mabel Wilkinson, than library structure.

Black & White brand card.


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.

© 2003 - 2014 Judy Aulik
Major update: 23 September 2014.