Non-Carnegie Libraries of Illinois, A - F,
which contains Chicago and Elgin (Gail Borden Public Library).
Non-Carnegie Libraries of Illinois, O - Z.
There are 5 pages of Carnegie library postcards, beginning here.
Occasionally, Illinois communities leapt to the challenge before Andrew Carnegie hit the scene.
In some cases (Mary McCoy Library of McLeansboro, William Reddick of Ottawa), local citizens led the way. The heirs of Gail Borden used their 'milk money' to found Elgin's library, although Borden did not have a personal connection with the city. In the same era as the Carnegie grants, much of James L. Nichols' business and printing profits were bequeathed to help build Naperville's original library building. Otherwise, Illinois industry did little to directly fund the state's public libraries.
Some of these cards, however, postdate the grant program, or picture buildings that replaced Carnegie buildings (Highland Park).
Slightly reminiscent of the
Carpentersville and the Loda library.
Built in 1898, replaced in 1976.
Used as the Geneseo Historical Museum: now serves as library storage. The current library is a sprawling building,
A 1911 donation by William Moyer funded the original building, which has
been replaced. The ivy must have covered a multitude of sins, because this building
was condemned in 1962.
History in 'A lott (sic) of city in 100 years; centennial history of Gibson City, Illinois.'
(L) Photo card of the library, and a woman on the sidewalk.
(R) Correspondent DB noted in 1945:
Do you suppose that is Mom coming from the library?
If she is walking past the library, it is some other lady.
(L) Photo card, now with cannon.
Return your books on time!
Mailed in 1937: Could the cannon have been scrapped in WWII?
Not much to be said about this North Shore library. The picture isn't that great, and comparing it to the Google street view allows me to conclude that it may or may not be the same building seen here.
First Presbyterian Church and Golconda Public Library
Curt Teich waxes more poetic about the church, but does state that the library was a gift to the city by the late Chas. Rauchfuss in memory of his wife and mother.
Originally misidentified as the Hampshire, Ill. Fire and Ambulance District. Why books would be in the window of the fire and ambulance HQ, I don't know.
We in the know identify it as the Ella Johnson Memorial Library. I believe its current home is in a repurposed bowling alley and grill.
(L) Divided-back card, never mailed.
(C) Building built in 1909: this card was sent shortly afterwards. Replaced in 2001, the memorial building is being used by the neighboring St. Joseph's Catholic Church as a community center.
(R) Righthand card postmarked 1955, late for a linen- finish card.
Publisher Curt Teich notes:
DELOS F. DIGGINS LIBRARY HARVARD, ILLINOIS
One of the finest buildings of a progressive community, filling a public need faithfully for many years.
Libraries are your faithful friend. Even Curt Teich agrees.
Like Gail Borden Public Library in upstate Elgin, Louis Latzer Memorial Library exists from the generosity of a dairy family; in this case, the founders of Pet Milk Company. Founded in 1929, it was renovated in 1971, when a wing was added by a daughter of the family, Jennie Latzer Kaeser.
Voegele's Studio commissioned this Eagle Post Card View.
This is Highland Park's second library, built in 1931 to replace the Carnegie building. Why, I don't know. I think I like the older library better.
(L) The linen finish card by Curt Teich was mailed in 1949.
(R) Photo card by L.L. Cook.
Not much of a card, but better than nothing.
The caption of this reprint reads:
'Hinsdale of Yesteryear'
Memorial Building on Chicago Avenue, early 1900
(Photo courtesy of Hinsdale Doings.)
Sometime thereafter, the library was installed.
Most of Hinsdale's downtown and civic buildings are in this Georgetown architecture.
Building dedicated in 1899.
(R) Per E.C. Kropp, the misleading Milwaukeean:
This is a Carnegie endowed institution. The bronze lions were installed at the entrance in 1928 after being removed from the entrance of the Gelino department store ruins. The lions were previously at the entrance of a large Chicago department store and were brought to Kankakee after the disastrous fire in 1871.
(L) Another E.C. Kropp card displays the Romanesque features better than the cards above do.
The library's site looks a lot better than it did when I began this project. However, there's no word about the fate of the original building, which was replaced in 2004.
Dedicated in 1931. You know this just had to be a North Shore library,
like Highland Park (above).
It's still in use, with a few additions.
Did people in the '30s call this 'retro' (or its Depression-era equivalent)? It looks to be at least twenty years older than it actually is. To me, it strongly resembles Oshkosh's 1899 building.
The card is photographic, by L.L. Cook of Milwaukee, the successor to E.C. Kropp. It probably was printed after 1958.
I believe that this is now known as the J.T. and E.J. Crumbaugh
Memorial Public Library. I have no proof,
since its web site bit the dust with the Yahoo/Geocities pogrom.
The Crumbaughs appear to have also founded a Spiritualist Church in the central Illinois town.
This is a 'Groganized' photograph, out of Danville, IL. It was never mailed, and without cars or other clues, I can't date it.
Not in Cook County. Not in the Deep South, either, despite its
In use from 1921 - 1968.
Since 1973, when the township board was dissolved, known as the Cook Memorial Public Library District. Its website has a clever history page.
(L) Photo card mailed in 1945.
(R) Paul H. Vogel photo card, never mailed.
Quite the handful of a name for such a tiny library.
Built in 1896. Quite impressive fact.
Published by A.C. Hutchinson, mailed in 1910. According to the writer, 'It is a lovely place.' She mailed it to Atlanta.
1927 as a replacement for the 1905 Josiah Reade House.
In turn, it was replaced in 1963.
Lombard is known as the 'Lilac City,' hence 'Lilacia Park.'
From the Curt Teich card:
The Helen M. Plum Memorial Library is situated in lovely Lilacia Park. Its charming reading rooms offer a restful retreat for visitors to lilac time in Lombard. The library as well as Lilacia Park are gifts of the late Col. William Plum.
The current library lies partially underneath Lilacia Park, which causes all sorts of logistical restraints.
Now known as the Marengo - Union Public Library.
This building was outgrown in 1993, and the library returned to its first building. Very strange.
The L.L. Cook photo card might date from the late 1950s.
This interesting building, built in 1884
as a private dwelling, is still in use as a library. I have no
idea if it is, or could be made, ADA-compliant.
Its second floor is a genealogy library.
The post card is another one of those 'C.T. Photo-Finish' jobs.
The 1923 building really looks like a late Carnegie, but is not. I don't know if it's still in use.
Built in 1915 on land donated by David Filger. Its architecture resembles that of the
non-Prairie Carnegie buildings of the late era, and that of the small town schools of the day.
Still in use.
Curiously, the library's web page uses blogging software.
The postcard is branded 'Black & White,' possibly a Curt Teich budget production. It was mailed in 1937.
Remarkably little information available online: the Library's web site is under construction; but shows this building, intact.
Opera House and Public Library, Monticello, Ill.
This bleak card was produced by H.M. Shuck & Co.
Surprisingly, the library remains in this facility, although the opera house function is no more. I know which I'd choose.
This building housed the Odell Public Library from 1879 to 1995.
(L) Unusual Real Photo card featuring an unusual library housed in an
former Congregational church. John Danforth Odell purchased and donated the building to the community.
(R) Another photo card.
Over the door reads: Giladi Building Library Atheneum.
Over the window: Morrison Literary & Scientific Association.
I also long for the days when Science, with a respectful capital S, was held in such high esteem that a civic group met to study it.
The quintessential Chicago suburb.
This is the 4th (1950) building to house the Mount Prospect Public Library. Surprisingly for Illinois, it is an independent library, not part of any regional system.
Two photo cards show the library from different angles. The left was taken in 1952, or very early 1953; the right, sometime after 1954.
This was Naperville's public library through the 1960s into 1981. Over the last several years, the building has had several tenants and serves as office space.
The current Nichols Library is also in downtown Naperville. Its most recent addition is the 95th Street Library, opened September, 2003. It lies within Will County, attesting to the rapid growth of this city in Chicago's collar counties.
|Illinois Carnegie Libraries
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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.
©2003-2013 Judy Aulik
Separated from Carnegie libraries of Illinois, 27 February 2006.
Divided on 09 May 2007. Last update: 01 May 2013.