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Carnegie Libraries of California

Cities "S"


Divided from T - Z in May, 2018.

Sacremento, CA Carnegie library

1920 postcard, mailed in 1930.

A rare gem indeed. It's still a public library, since 1918 (1914 grant). Per Carnegie Libraries of California, its architect was Loring Rixford. Of course, the Library has expanded.


Curt Teich cards rarely have a huge explanatory reverse, but here goes:


The building and site cost $226,000 of which $100,000 was the gift of the Carnegie Corporation. The building was completed in 1918; has all the features of a modern Library, including lecture room, staff room, and steel stacks. The Library contains about 130,000 volumes.

Salinas, CA Carnegie library

(L) Unattributed card, never mailed.



The current library building is named after John Steinbeck, who I'm certain used the Carnegie building.


Interior of the Library's technical services room. This card was mailed in 1923.


The reverse of the card above, on the left, shows that this was addressed to San Miguel, California.

Monterey Co. Free Library, Salinas, tech services room
Reverse of postcard used by the Monterey Co. Free Library in 1923.

Its message:

You may return the charts, maps etc not wanted by Mrs Waldman. Please tell her she may have Current Events and one other magazine and ask her to let us know as soon as possible what one she wants. "Handbook of Nature Study" is out and will be sent later. We note your report on the loss of "The Girl of the Limberlost."

San Bernardino
San Bernardino, CA Carnegie library

Charming Edward H. Mitchell postcard.


Condemned in 1957 for unspecified reasons, this library looks as if it could have served into the current century, given its generous size.

San Diego
San Diego, CA Carnegie library
San Diego, CA Carnegie library
San Diego, CA Carnegie library

By Edward H. Mitchell.
Atypically, included street life.

M. Kashower card, annotated, 'Nice Cars.' Often autos appear to be added onto the printing plates, but this doesn't seem to be the case here.

Eno & Matteson Card

1902 - 1952
Built from an 1899 grant.

Although the library shares a website with the city, it has managed to produce a fantastic omnibus site for people like me.
The new central library building dates to 2013.

San Francisco

Italian Renaissance Beaux Arts building stemming from a 1901 grant. Built 1917. Looks like they had a little delay along the way. Some sort of earthquake, I'd guess.


Photo card dates from the 1930s. I believe that the skyscraper is the Russ Building, built in 1927.


Currently the Asian Art Museum.

San Francisco, CA Carnegie library
San Jose
San Jose, CA Carnegie library
San Jose Carnegie library postcard also advertises the Southern Pacific Railroad.
San Jose, CA Carnegie library

M. Rieder card mailed in 1912.


1901 grant: demolished, 1960.

By Cardinell-Vincent.

On the Road of a Thousand Wonders
refers to the Southern Pacific Railroad's
Coast Line-Shasta line.

Acmegraph card.


San Jose received a second grant, and had a second Carnegie building in East San Jose.

San Leandro

Late 1907 grant; built 1909. 

Somewhere along the way, somebody thought it was a good idea to refashion it into a Deco style, not enlarging it, however.
By 1959, it was demolished.


Edward H. Mitchell card with a sepia tint; never mailed.

San Leandro, CA Carnegie library
San Luis Obispo

Built 1905. Considered to be Romanesque. Currently it's its County Historical Society's Museum. Nice reuse.


Card published by the Pacific Novelty Co.




Romanesque, Carnegie funded and still standing: San Luis Obispo Library hit the trifecta.
San Mateo
San Mateo, CA Carnegie library, of Searchlight series

1907 - 1968

1905 grant. Thought to have been under construction when the Big One hit in '06. It did receive an addition, but that wasn't enough to save the Classical Revival building in 1968, when it was replaced.


This card is part of the 'Searchlight Series by A Holzman - Chicago.'

San Pedro
San Pedro, CA Carnegie library

(L) Another Edward H. Mitchell card.
(R) Card by the Van Ornum Colorprint Co. also shows the city park.


Built after a 1905 Carnegie grant, subsequently demolished.

San Pedro's city park and Carnegie library.
Santa Ana
Santa Ana, CA Carnegie library

(L) Longshaw brand card.
(R) Tichnor Bros. card, in linen finish.


1903 - 1960
Mission (Spanish Colonial) style building that no-one apparently felt was important enough to preserve, long before current building codes would have put the kibosh on the bell towers.

Santa Ana, CA Carnegie library
Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA Carnegie library in aftermath of 1925 earthquakes

Postcard dated 6-29-25, and portrays the aftermath of an earthquake. 

Yes, the library is functioning.

The 1917 building is still in use as a library.

Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, CA Carnegie library

Santa Cruz received two batches of Carnegie monies, in 1902 and 1913. The latter came after a 1910 visit by Mr. Carnegie himself.
There are three other Carnegie branches, two of which still stand.


The Charles Weidner postcard displays a late Romanesque building. Reflected in its main window is the widow's walk of the house across the street.

East Cliff - Seabright Branch

Seabright Branch of the Santa Cruz Library on East Cliff Drive

One of three Carnegie branch libraries in Santa Cruz, this building now serves as a museum.

The RPPC was helpfully labeled by a previous collector.

Santa Maria
Santa Maria, CA USO Club, formerly a Carnegie library.

1908 grant. In use as a Carnegie library until 1941. During WWII, the building housed the USO, as seen on this photo postcard. 

Until its 1969 demolition, it served as a Youth Center.

Santa Monica
Artwork of Santa Monica, CA Carnegie library

1903 grant. Demolished, 1974.


This card was drawn after a 1927 remodeling: M.A. Sheehan produced it.



Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa, CA Carnegie library

1904 - 1964
This was a rare Romanesque Carnegie building, damaged in the 1906 earthquake (earning a second grant), and condemned in 1960. It took 54 years to figure out that it was a hazard?

After a hiatus in temporary quarters, the new building was erected on the same site in 1967.

Sebastopol, CA Carnegie library

Type C Carnegie Library funded in 1911 and designed by architect Brainerd Jones in 1916. Demolished in 1975.

Unattributed photo postcard.

Selma, CA Carnegie library

(L) PNC card. Given what beautiful work this company did with library postcards, why would any of the local establishments have used other firms?
Well, Edward H. Mitchell cards aren't too shabby.
(R) Pacific Novelty card in sepia tint.

Selma, CA Carnegie library

1906 - 1952
According to the Carnegie Libraries of California site, the Prohibitionist city government was responsible for the establishment of the Library.
Carnegie Libraries of California calls its design Mission/Spanish Colonian Revival.

Sonoma, CA Carnegie Library

Carnegie Libraries of California calls the architecture Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival, but Palladian windows, coupled with a pediment with dentil trim, lead me to disagree.

1911 grant: built 1913, and served as a library until 1976. By then, it was obviously too small. Today it's a Visitor's Center.

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