Carnegie Libraries of Illinois

Cities D-F

Danville

Danville has the distinction of also having a Veterans Administration Carnegie building, also still standing.

Curt Teich 'C.T. American Art' brand card.

Grogan Photo Company card,
postmarked 1943.

Raphael Tuck card,
printed in Great Britain.

This is the Danville Public Carnegie Library, built 1904. Typical building, except for its tile roof. Raphael Tuck & Sons attempted to make the roof more exciting yet.
Already insufficient by 1911: failed to obtain more funding from the Carnegie Foundation.
Currently used as the Vermilion County War Museum. The building has been entered on the Illinois Register of Historic Places. Building replaced and was closed on 9/30/95, according to the history contained in the Library's history.

Decatur

(L) E.C. Kropp postcard, mailed in 1922.

(R) Card mailed 1910. Strongly resembles Aurora's Carnegie Library.
 

Built 1903: in use for 70 years according to the Decatur Genealogical Society's website. Bial and Bial state that it was demolished in 1970 due to renovation cost projections. Then the library moved into a 'thoroughly remodeled former Sears, Roebuck store.' In 1999, the library moved to its current building, which certainly beats a Sears store.
Such is life.

 

A shout-out to the Decatur library's history page, and the vastly improved web site!

Delavan (Ayer Public Library)

At first I wondered why this library made the IHPA list.
Then I realized that the building is intact, except for some interior renovation.

Founded in 1907, with assistance from the Ayer brothers, the Carnegie grant was received by the library in 1914.

 

C.R. Childs postcards are a Chicago product which captured the state in exquisite detail. Sometimes either a Childs card or a Childs photo postcard is the only visual record of a historical building.
At least in this case, we still have said building.

Des Plaines

(L) William G. Hoffman effort.

(R) Suhling & Co. card.

 

From the ridiculous to the sublime

 

(L) P.L. Huckins photo card.

(C) Photo card, unknown source.

(R) Improved William G. Hoffman card.

This is the first Des Plaines library, built in 1907 from a 1906 grant. It was torn down in the late 1930s in favor of a new city hall, which held the library collection in one wing. Visit my non-Carnegie Library page for Illinois to see its replacement. Again, the Carnegie building was better--and perhaps, a touch larger.


However, the current building is thoroughly impressive.

Downers Grove

I believe these cards to be in chronological order.

New Public Library, Downers Grove, Ill.

Delmar Photo, Elmhurst, Ill.,

embossed.

(L) Curt Teich linen finish postcard. This image was reused on a Christmas ornament fundraiser.

(R) ca. 1961 L.L. Cook photo postcard, displaying the sadly remodeled library building. I'm certain that this is why no one particularly cared enough to preserve it.

C.R. Child card, 

postmarked 1924.

This DuPage County library building was completed in 1915, cruelly remodeled in the late 1950s (as seen above), torn down in 1975, and replaced in 1977.

The new building, in its turn, was extensively modified in 1999; and renovated for efficiency in 2014-2015..

Edwardsville

Edwardsville's library history page is bereft of photographs (recently, videos were added), but is quite well written by authors Amy Anson, Kevin Becker, and Amanda Endicott.

To summarize, the 1903 Carnegie building first needed renovation in the 1950s. During this period, a 1956 fire essentially gutted the building. It reopened in 1957. 1964 saw an addition, as did 1989.

 

(L) SL & Co. card, printed in Germany, has a ghostly vignette of Andrew Carnegie.

(R) Unattributed card on poor quality card stock.

Sometimes postcard manufacturer Curt Teich plagiarized itself. The same image was used for a C.T. American Art postcard and for a Blue Sky brand card. I would assume that the latter was a budget line, but similar cards were a fad from the early 1910s into the 1920s. Some Blue Sky cards were even printed in the linen era.

El Paso

(L) Probably an L.L. Cook photo postcard.

(R) A C.U. Williams 'Photoette.'

This Souvenir of El Paso, Illinois offers some extra information:

El Paso Free Public Library--Donated by Andrew Carnegie.
Dedicated February 22, 1907.


The card was mailed soon after; postmarked on May 29th of the same year.

I adore this little fairy castle of a Carnegie Library, especially since it's still in use with a bright and shiny addition.

Evanston

 

In use 1907-1975. Demolished.

                           ---------

(L) Pioneer card from an unknown publisher.

(R) V.O. Hammon postcard with delicate tinting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(L) V.O. Hammon card, mailed in 1917.

(R) RPPC found in a box of random building post cards. This is a library building I recognized immediately.

 

 

 

According to Evanston Public Library Lore on its web site, a $50,000 Carnegie grant built this building.

What they don't tell you is that it took many years of wrangling to get it done. In 1903, they got one grant. A 1906 grant request was turned down. The building was opened in 1907. The grant was renewed in 1914, and more construction took place in 1915. (Here, the Bials are unclear. I bet there are some missing EPL records.)

 

After all that hassle, they moved in 1960.

 

Published for S.H. Knox & Co.

Farmington

(L) A.A. Vandervoort postcard, locally produced.
(R) W.C. Pine Co. card with strange white blotch above the steps, and an unusual typescript caption.

1906 grant: still in use, but with altered windows.
I seem to remember this building from the late 1970s. Even then, it needed a little TLC for its curb appeal. Forty years later, I wonder why I didn't appreciate it more.

Flora

Probably by C.U. Williams.

L.L. Cook postcard, mailed in 1962

Wayne Box & Printing Co. product.

1903 - 1990
This is the only Illinois Carnegie library building of which I know that was condemned.

On their web site, Flora Public Library titles this page, 'A Brief History of the Flora Public Library.'
Read the rules section. I like 7 - 10 the best.

 

Freeport

Card by unknown German publisher.

Color-View brand card by Dexter Press, dated as 1962.

Another German printing job.

1901 Carnegie grant. Replaced in 2004. Still in limbo, but there has been debate, as recently as September 2015, about repurposing the Carnegie building as the City Hall.

 

The Library's featured photo of the new building looks like Ed Ruscha had a hand in it.

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©2015-2019  Judy Aulik
Contact me at (my first name) at roadmaps (dot) org.

 

Scanned images are provided in the spirit of scholarly study. Most are of an age to be in the public domain. However, if you use my scans, please credit this site.