Left Coast Libraries: Carnegie Libraries of Oregon and Washington


Much of the Carnegie information came from an OLA (Oregon Library Association) article no longer online.


Ashland, OR Carnegie library

1909 grant. Still in use, expected to last until 2025.

Sexichrome card with a glossy finish. Never mailed.

Baker City

Baker City, OR Carnegie building (L) This card's picture leaves a lot to be desired.
(R) By now, you should know that when I say that, I go after another card. This was produced by Wesley Andrews, and bears the 1907 divided back.

Baker City, OR Carnegie building

Built 1909. Its architects were Lawrence & Holford.
Being renovated for the Carnegie Arts and Cultural Center.


(L) Gorgeous Edward H. Mitchell card, post-1907.
(R) Allen H. Eaton card, mailed in 1906.

Late 1903 Carnegie grant, which was the first in Oregon. Built in 1906; replaced in 1959. Building demolished.


Hillsboro, OR Carnegie library

Late 1913 Carnegie grant. Replaced in 2007.

Black and White brand card.

Hood River

Hood River, OR Carnegie library

1912 Carnegie grant. Still in use with a massive addition.

Real photo post card with no date information. However, the American flag does have 48 stars, narrowing it down slightly.

La Grande

La Grande, OR Carnegie Library

1913 grant. Large building, replaced in 2006.
Fate unknown.

Black and White brand postcard, possibly attributed to Curt Teich & Co.


Medford, OR Carnegie Library

Early 1911 Carnegie grant. Replaced.

Curt Teich card from 1926.


Newberg, OR Carnegie Library

1911 Carnegie grant. Still in use, with a 1986 addition.

Pacific Photo Co. card, mailed in 1916.

Portland (Multnomah County Library)

Portland, OR Carnegie Library (L) PCK card.
(R) Oregon News card by Americhrome.
Portland, OR Carnegie Library

Oldest library (1864) west of the Mississippi. It recieved 7 Carnegie grants total, beginning in 1901.

The Central Library appears on these cards. It was built in 1913 and heavily renovated in 1994-1997. It's still in use.


Salem, OR Carnegie library

1907 Christmas Eve grant. Replaced in 1972. Now owned by Willamette University.

Card mailed in 1913 to Miss Berniece Gray of the Pomona (CA) Public Library.

The Dalles

The Dalles Carnegie library

Not Dalles. The Dalles.

1907 Carnegie grant. Built in 1910, according to a rather spiffy little Wikipedia site. I include it because of its great picture.
The Carnegie building is replaced as a library, but is currently an arts center.
The Library continues as the Dalles-Wasco County Library.

The card has the notation, 'On the Line of the O.-W. R. & N.', and is published by the Pacific Novelty Co.



Aberdeen, WA Carnegie library

Warts and all: dirt street, rickety shed, and worn house.

1907 Carnegie grant. Demolished.

Sprouse & Son card, mailed in 1910.


Main Bellingham, OR Carnegie Library (L) Acmegraph Co. card.
(R) W.G. MacFarlane card, mailed in the summer of 1907.
Fairhaven Carnegie library
Main location.
Fairhaven (12th Street)
1903 grant.
Still in use with a small addition.
57 steps to the top.
1908 grant: demolished in 1953.
They even regraded the hill.
Bellingham, WA Fairview Branch Library


Chehalis, WA Civic Center

Part of the city's Civic Center. 1908 grant: damaged in a 1949 earthquake, and demolished in 2007.

Photo postcard.


Ellensburg, WA Carnegie library

1909 - 1967

Carnegie building replaced in 1966.

Sepia tinted card by the Pacific Novelty Co.

North Yakima

N. Yakima, WA Carnegie Library

1903 grant. Stood between 1906 and 1958.

Card of unknown publisher was mailed in 1911. I don't know if that's when its damage occurred.


Olympia, WA Carnegie library

In use as the library 1914-1978, according to the What Was There web site. The Joseph Wholeb building now serves as a church.
I guess that a building built for fan stacks could work as such.

E.C. Kropp postcard with Panama-Pacific Exposition cancel.


Pasco, WA Carnegie library

Late 1909 grant. No longer in use as a library, but is now a museum.

Self-framed card.

Port Angeles

Pt. Angeles, WA Carnegie library These RPPCs were photographed within a short time span. At first, I was angry, believing I had bought duplicates.
(L) Shrubs are tinier, and the empty trellises resemble scaffolding.
(R) The bushes are larger and a monument rock has been added.
Pt. Angeles, WA Carnegie library

Most information came from the City's Public Works and Utilities Department, page no longer on line.

Late 1916 grant: dedicated in 1919. Served faithfully until 1968, when an addition was needed. Replaced in 1998. Now it's the Clallam County Historical Society.
Surprisingly, some of the bond money for the replacement building was divertible (Is that a word? It is now.) for restoration, beginning in 1994.


Renton, WA Carnegie library

Late (1913) grant.

On photo card as Carnegie Library - Rentin. Not visible on the scan, unless you're Superman, is an early gas station. Hanging from its canopy is a round sign, possibly for Standard Oil of California.
Odd library style: not really Prairie, not really Federal, either. No longer in use: demolished because it was not really distinguished.


1906 grant. Still in use! (Open 31 hours per week.)

Tiny Carnegie building with bunting around a window and near the entrance.
In the background of this Sprouse & Son German card is the Adams County Court House.

Initial (1902) collection of books and photographs donated by Daniel Buchanan.


Seattle's Public Library Branches This is the only collective branch library card I have ever seen.
In clockwise order:
West Seattle Branch
Ballard Branch
University Branch
Georgetown Branch and City Hall
Yesler Branch
Green Lake Branch
Seattle Carnegie Library (L) E.P. Charlton card, mailed in 1908.
(R) Mailed in 1911.
Seattle Carnegie Library
Seattle Carnegie Library (L, below) This Lowman & Hanford card was published in the postal transition year, 1907.
(R, below) Curt Teich 'C.T. Photochrom,' published in 1917.
Neither of these cards was ever mailed.
Seattle Carnegie Library
I like your pluck.

--Andrew Carnegie, pertaining to the 1901, post-fire, grant request

Although I don't yet have the measurements to prove it, I suspect the 1901 Seattle Carnegie library was one of the nation's largest. The grant, which included the branch libraries shown above, totalled $430,000.
Unfortunately, the main building was one of the least attractive/imaginative.


According to the Spokane Public Library's website, this Carnegie library was built in 1904 and outgrown in 1961. The building is still standing, in use as the offices of Integrus Architects.

A Carnegie-funded branch building is a court reporter's office.

Spokane, WA Carnegie library Spokane, WA Carnegie library Spokane, WA Carnegie library Spokane, WA Carnegie library
For Washington Paper & Stationery Company
by Spokane Lithography. Entire back.
Two Inland Printing Company cards, which were never mailed.
Photo postcard on far right.


Interior of Sunnyside, WA Carnegie library

Amid the mess is a Collier's magazine.

1910 Carnegie grant. Demolished.

Card from the Cardinell-Vincent Company of San Francisco. I do not have an exterior post card yet.


Tacoma, WA Carnegie library (L) Central News Co. card, with entire back, mailed in 1907.
(R) Issued for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific (1909) Exposition. Never mailed.
Tacoma, WA Carnegie library

1901 grant. Still in use, adjacent to a whole new library.


Wenatchee, WA Carnegie library

1909 Carnegie grant. Now the Wenatchee, Washington Department of Parks and Recreation.