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Carnegie Libraries of Iowa
Cities N - O


(L) Photo card.
(R) Real photo card, at the corner of Woodridge and 8th. Bleak photograph, taken proximate to a rainstorm.


1905 grant. 1986 addition. Strange ornamentation that looks like a bath towel on a rod..

(R) C.U. Williams postcards almost never bear the name of the jobber. In this case, it's in the upper left corner: 

Pub. by Shaw's Cash Store.

It was mailed in 1911, although it bore an entire back.

New Hampton

1908 grant. Replaced in 1994. Still in use as the Carnegie Cultural Center

I believe this might be a Massure Co. postcard which escaped their bizarre tinting process.

New Hampton, IA Carnegie library

(L) This 'Litho-Chrome' brand card was mailed in 1908. It shows a back wing and what I believe to be an outhouse at left.
Of the two men resting on the sidewalk, one appears to be African-American. Although I have seen RPPCs with Carnegie libraries and African-American visitors or staff, I have never seen a printed library postcard with such.


This 1902 library was demolished in 1994. In general, Iowa was not as hasty as some states to demolish its aging Carnegie buildings.

Newton, IA Carnegie library

(L) Unusual postcard whose back bears a Japanese lantern logo with MS Co.

(R) The Real Photo Postcard documents a building that still bore traces of Italianate architecture. Weirdly, the new building either has some Italianate features, or else was built in front of an impressive home.


Built 1904, with a recent addition. Still in use as a public library.

(L) Unmarked card has a 1909 Seattle World's Fair postmark.
How this wound up mailed there is a mystery

(L) In 1913, this card was sent as a Christmas greeting.

(R) RPPC with 1907 postmark.


(L) 1914 Minneapolis & Omaha RPO postmark.

(R) Unattributed card, mailed in 1911.

Built 1907: renovated and enlarged 2005. Celebrated its centennial.
Maybe it's the unusual architecture--a stunning hybrid of Japanese and Prairie style called Chicago Style-- but this library looks larger than the average Iowa Carnegie building. The Library's history page hints at Louis Sullivan's influence.


(L) Closeup view which unfortunately captures a Ladies Rest Room sign at left.

(R) L.L. Cook photo card.

1905 Carnegie grant. Dedicated in 1911.

Something about the proportions of this typical Carnegie building strike me as the architectural equivalent of hoisting one's khakis up to one's armpits. It's been replaced, which is one way to solve an aesthetic problem.


Personally, I would have tried peonies.


(L) Very surprising photographic view: I have owned the card at right for many years, and never knew that the building has nearly a full basement storey, plus a side (staff?) entrance. Might be why it's still in use: much useful space on a small footprint.
(R) Early E.C. Kropp card, mailed 1913.

Built 1908: also dedicated in 1911.


(L) Card #12053 published by A.L. Black of Oskaloosa and printed in Germany. Mailed in 1912.

(R) Unevenly divided card #2801 from the Acmegraph Company of Chicago.

Built in 1902: in use, with renovation.


(L) Early printed postcard from the Souvenir Card Co. of Ottumwa.

(R) Unattributed postcard resembles those of California's Ed. H. Mitchell.

According to Iowa State Extension's Ottumwa Walking Tour site, this is one of 101 Iowa Carnegie libraries, and was built in 1901. CLIP adds that there has been renovation and an addition added, but does not give the date.

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