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Carnegie Libraries of Iowa
Cities "C"


Built in 1903: currently a museum.

Carroll, IA Carnegie library

(L) Another monochrome card that is saved from being humdrum by a few details, such as the building at left, the woman posed at the entrance, her companions at the bottom of the steps, the possibly leaded windows, and the details beneath the windows that look like 2 Liberty caps flanking a book.

(R) Details clearer on the photo postcard.

Carroll, IA Carnegie library
Cedar Falls (Carnegie-Dayton Library)

No, I don't know who Dayton was.

1902 grant, dedicated in 1903. Demolished in 2004, ostensibly because it couldn't be made ADA-compliant.

Carnegie-Dayton library of Cedar Falls, IA.

(L) E.C. Kropp card, never mailed.

(R) The ca. 1913 photo postcard also shows the unusually gathered material of the striped awnings.

Cedar Falls Carnegie-Dayton Library
Cedar Rapids

Carnegie Library, built 1901. Currently the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. They conserved the library facade, but I wonder why.

Cedar Rapids, IA, Carnegie library

(L) Mailed in 1926. Close examination reveals that this is the Lublic Library, again dated 1804. Someone either needed the library or bifocals.
(R) Unevenly divided back card, postmarked 1917. Evidently not a big seller for the Baylis Post Card Co. This is another Acmegraph card from Chicago. However, they did do a great job getting the roller blinds properly aligned.

Cedar Rapids, IA, Carnegie library
Park, near Cedar Rapids, IA, Carnegie library

(L) For those of you with a martial bent, note the honkin' cannon on this pre-Great War German card. This time there's a man in some sort of uniform on the library's steps.
As to the building on the left, my best guess is that it was an early car dealer or garage.
(R) Delightful interior view. This was another Carnegie building more impressive on the inside than outside, although I'm certain that K-Win & Co. was at least partially responsible.

Interior of Cedar Rapids, IA, Carnegie library

(L) The card is a 'Sexichrome,' which sounds more exciting than it was. The red is out of register. I don't know if red looks worse when out of register, but it seems like when one color is out, it's generally red.
(R) L.L. Cook photo card mailed in 1942.


Built in 1903; with an addition or two, still in use. Its closest stylistic relative might be in Sigourney.

Charles City

(L) Lovely 1907 C.U. Williams 'Photo-ette' card, given to me by a friend.
(R) This is an E.C. Kropp card, published in Milwaukee, and in excellent condition.


Built in 1903; currently serves as an art center.

I hope they kept its stained glass fanlight and windows. This is an odd mash-up of styles: Moorish, Federal Georgian, Flemish, and a hint of Prairie Bungalow.


(R) Unevenly divided back postcard printed in Germany for A.C. Bosselman of New York.


1903 grant, built 1905. Added to the National Register of Historic Sites in 1986. Seriously modified in 1998.

Cherokee, IA Carnegie library
Cherokee, IA Carnegie library

(L) L.L. Cook photo postcard with book drop and parking meters.

(R) Photo postcard mailed in 1910.

Cherokee, IA Carnegie library
Clarinda, IA Carnegie library

(L) Construction RPPC with workers on the roof, and two women leaning out a front window. Written by the sender is:

'this will be finished by Mar 1-09'.

(R) Sepia print by unknown photographer.

Clarinda, IA Carnegie library

1908 Carnegie grant, replaced in 2002 - 04 due to ADA concerns. Today, houses small businesses. A nice photographer's blog contains some nice pictures and recent information.

Replacement known as the Lied Public Library.

Clear Lake

1916 grant. This is more square than shallow, like many of its contemporary Carnegie libraries. It is still in use.

The postcard is by Co-Mo Company of Minneapolis, a precursor to L.L. Cook. It was mailed in 1920, and suffered from water damage along the way.

Clear Lake, IA Carnegie library
Clinton, IA Carnegie library

Built 1901; opened in 1904; was scheduled for replacement in 2002.

As of a 2019 Google View, the building hasn't been replaced. 

Colfax, IA Carnegie library
Colfax, IA Carnegie library
Colfax, IA Carnegie library

Exquisite Curt Teich 'C.T.  Photo-chrom' card, probably from 1913.

Delightful RPPC by the Hamilton Photo Co. of Ames, Iowa. Mind the gap in the bushes. You probably can see the wire fence. What's not visible in a scan of this size is the 'Keep off the Grass' sign.

Photo postcard mailed in 1943. There seems to be a board fence at far left.

The Library received its Carnegie grant 1904, purchased a lot in 1912, then built the building, which is still standing,  in 1913


Built in 1917 from a Proudfoot, Bird & Rawson design. Extant, but no longer serves as a library. It was incorporated into a school.

The L.L. Cook card was mailed in 1964.

Council Bluffs
Council Bluffs, IA Carnegie library

Two Curt Teich postcards. On the left is a 'C.T. Photochrom,' and on the right is a 'C.T. American Art' card. 

Styles change much, or what?

Council Bluffs, IA Carnegie library
Council Bluffs, IA Carnegie library on Pearl St.

(L) Pearl Street, Looking North from Library, Council Bluffs, Iowa
Hard to believe Council Bluffs had a streetcar system in place.
(R) 1907 postmark on a green monochrome postcard. Is that a gaggle -- bunch -- stack of librarians on the corner?

Council Bluffs, IA Carnegie library

Built in 1903.
Replaced in 1998: building houses the Union Pacific Railway Museum.

Cresco, IA Carnegie library

(L) Unattributed photo postcard.

(R) Fraser Studio continental chrome postcard. It adds the information that its subject was built in 1914.

Cresco, IA Carnegie library, on chrome postcard

Prior to the Carnegie grant, the Cresco Public Library used some creative ways to build its collection, including a book shower.
By 1913, it needed a new building, and upon adding some area communities to its service area, received a Carnegie grant. The building was finished by late 1915. The first major renovation occurred in 1991.

From the Library's history page I also learned about the Kinney-Lindstrom foundation fund, derived from oil money from a Texas strike, which helped the libraries of northeastern Iowa thrive in the last 60 years.

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