Carnegie Libraries of California

Cities A-F

My main sources are the book Free to All and the web site Carnegie Libraries of California.

Certain states' Carnegie libraries are fairly well documented: Indiana, Iowa, and California are probably the best.

Alameda
Alameda, CA Carnegie library

Two lovely Edward H. Mitchell postcards, never mailed.


(L) White sidebar and an entire back date the card to pre-1907.
(R) Postdates 1907: however, the base photograph is identical.

Alameda, CA Carnegie library

Funded in 1899, but opened nearly four years later. Replaced in the late 1990s.

Anaheim
Anaheim, CA Carnegie library

1907 grant.
Replaced in 1963: still standing and in use as a museum. Next time you go to Disneyland, pop on by. I doubt there are lines.

 

M. Kashower card.

 

Berkeley
Berkeley, CA Carnegie library

(L) Edw. H. Mitchell card, mailed 1913.
(R) Pacific Novelty Co. card, never mailed.

Berkeley, CA Carnegie library

1905 - 1929
1903 grant that was hardly worth James Bertram's time and Mr. Carnegie's cash.

Calexico
Calexico, CA Carnegie Library

1915 grant.

Fortunately, someone took the awnings down. The building is still standing, and in use as a library.

Crawfordsville Post Card, the only one in my collections.

Chico
Chico, CA Carnegie library

1906 grant. Replaced in 1982, then gently remodeled. Now the Chico Museum.

 

Pacific Novelty Company postcard, never mailed.

Colton

1906 grant. Built in 1908: Franklin P. Burnham was its architect.

Superseded in 1982. This Neoclassical building then became a museum. As of this writing (late 2021), it is closed.

Another Pacific Novelty postcard.

Colton, CA Carnegie library
Colusa

1905 grant; built in 1906.
Its architecture shows a Midwestern influence in the use of rusticated stone.

Replaced in 1964. Now serves as the police department.

 

The Litho-Chrome postcard was mailed to Elgin, Illinois, sometime after 1907.

Corning
Corning, CA Carnegie library, Real Photo Postcard.

Real Photo Postcards (RPPC) are often difficult to identify. I had to use crowd sourcing to ID this as the Corning, CA Carnegie library, but the Carnegie Libraries of California site helped greatly.

Its architect was Clarence L. Stiles, and it is a fine example of Mission, or Spanish Colonial Revival architecture (I lean toward the latter).

Believed to still be in use as a library.

Corona

1906 - 1978.

Vacant from 1971 until its demolition.

This 1907 message reads in part:

'Say there are lots of good oranges here.'

Sent to Wisconsin in early March.

Corona, CA Carnegie library
Corona, CA Carnegie library

(L) M. Rieder card, with unevenly divided back, printed in Germany and mailed in 1908.
(R) Published for H.F. Billings by Newman Post Card, which had it printed in Germany.

Corona, CA Carnegie library
Covina

1905 grant. Demolished in 1962.

This was a typical Classical Revival Type A plan. The interior shown was also typical for its time.

Interior view of the Covina, CA Carnegie library.

Both color postcards were products of M. Rieder of Los Angeles.

Covina, CA Carnegie library
Dinuba
Dinuba, CA Carnegie library

Dinuba has had poor luck with its library collection, which was destroyed in a 1916 fire. Fortunately, the 1915 Carnegie building was not opened yet, and had a soft opening four days post-fire. Actually, it likely saved a lot of moving issues. 

Card by Pacific Novelty.

El Centro
El Centro, CA, Carnegie library

Somewhere, a Carnegie library lurks within the current building. Waukesha, Wisconsin did something similar. 

Built from a 1909 Carnegie grant: sustained much earthquake damage.

Albertype brand postcard, quite attractive, but never mailed.

Escondido

1908 grant. Demolished in 1956.

The postcard was printed as part of the celebration of the Panama-California Exposition by Benham. Its quality was suspect even before someone thought that three thumbtacks were needed to display it.

Escondido, CA Carnegie library
Eureka
Eureka, CA Carnegie library

Another lovely Edward H. Mitchell card. Many of this west coast series are exquisite postcards.

 

Built 1903.
Now the Morris Graves Museum of Art, according to the Carnegie Libraries of California web page. Sometime along the way, the dome was replaced by a skylight. Probably more sensible in earthquake-prone areas.

 

Fresno

Bedraggled M. Rieder postcard, mailed in 1910.

 

The Library didn't fare any better. It was demolished in 1959.

Fresno, CA Carnegie library

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