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Carnegie Libraries of Iowa
Cities A-B

Most Iowa Carnegie Libraries are still extant, and have had postcard images produced in the last century, some even as the new libraries were being built. Because of their sheer numbers, this state's pages are divided in an amazingly granular scheme.

It was necessary. Apologies if you've had to change bookmarks and hyperlinks.

Resources include:

CLIP: Carnegie Libraries in Iowa Project
State Library of Iowa's list of Carnegie library construction dates.

As these buildings reached their centenary, many local Iowa newspapers published articles on their city library.

Fairfield (Jefferson County) library was the first Carnegie library west of the Mississippi.



Card originally sepia monochrome, with an unknown publisher.

Curt Teich card mailed in 1937.

Card misattributed as Clear Lake, Iowa, then as Clear Lake, Wisconsin.

1905 Carnegie grant. Monroe County library, built apparently in anticipation of high water. This building is a prime example of inaccessibility for many.
Apparently still in use, I hope with ramps.


(L) Photo postcard, never mailed.

(R) Curt Teich glossy tinted card.


Unusual, asymmetric Carnegie building dating from 1903. According to a brief notice in The Economist: a Weekly Financial, Commercial, and Real-estate Newspaper, v. 31, Patton & Miller were its architects.

The SLI site states that it is now a gift shop, which seems like a peaceful retirement occupation. Whether it still is, I know not.


(L) C.E. Wheelock card, imported from Germany by the Peoria-based firm. Sold via the druggists Loughran & Bauer.
(R) Plain monochrome card mailed in 1910.

Built in 1904 with help from a Carnegie grant: expanded in 1907, 1940, 1985, and 2013.

The Library's web site has a more thorough history, along with several interesting photographs. The 1940 renovation looks to have more than doubled the library's size.



(L) Photo postcard showing a slight dishevelment.

(R) I don't know whether it's just the card's quality, but this is a very striking library. The card was made in Germany for Jno. T. Faber, a publisher in Milwaukee.


Built from a 1902 grant, remodeled since.


Spring, 1911 grant. Heavily remodeled along the way.


1913 card shows a brick building with Tudor and Gothic influences.


1907 grant; built in 1915. Why the delay?
Maybe they wanted to get it just right: it's still in use.


L.L. Cook card mailed in 1950.
Captured details include 'Public Library' over the door, stucco panels, and an interesting house in the background.


1911 grant. Dedicated in 1913, and still in use. On the city web site, it looks like a gingerbread house.


Photo postcard mailed in 1946. I believe this to have been produced by L.L. Cook, but can't confirm this.



1916 grant; dedicated in 1918. Replaced in 1968, and then demolished.


L.L. Cook card, never mailed.
Captured details include the street sign, fixing the location as the corner of E. 4th and Main Streets. More in the tradition of commercial buildings of the Midwest, 'Carnegie' is affixed above the entryway.

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