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.


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.

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


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.



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

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

Calexico, CA Carnegie Library

Surprisingly, when you look at this Crawfordsville (IN) photo postcard, this late (1918) Carnegie building is actually in Spanish Colonial Style. 

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


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


Pacific Novelty Company postcard, never mailed.


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, 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.


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.

(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.


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.

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.


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, 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.



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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