Carnegie Libraries of Minnesota
Cities A - I

With the advent of the Placeography website, some missing details (primarily pertaining to architects of record) about the Carnegie buildings have been added.

There were 65 Carnegie buildings. I like to think this results from that Upper Midwest mixture of Lutheran socialism and Scandinavian frugality.

You might also be interested in the 'Carnegie Library Tour' of Placeography.

Aitkin

1908 grant. Claude & Starck are the architects of record, as they were for at least 25 more Carnegie buildings in the Midwest.


Replaced, but contains the Jacques Art Center.

Photo postcard of unknown maker, mailed in 1922, shows a dirt street.

Albert Lea

(L) Tinted Faber card, prited in Germany, and mailed in 1908.
(R) Amazing photo card by the Albert Lea Souvenir Co., capturing the Beaux Arts/Classical Revival building in all its splendor.

 

 

1902 grant. Its architects--Schick and Ross of LaCrosse, WI--also designed the Sparta Free Library in their home state.
Replaced in 1968: minor alterations effect its service as an office building.

Alexandria

1903 grant. Replaced, but now used as offices.

 

(L) Bloom Bros. postcard.

(R) A little more doggerel for your day:

Once in a while it does no harm.

To pause in our course like big ships meeting.

And say regards!

We therefore send

Our best to you as a friendly greeting.

Anoka

Goodrich & Jennings claim responsibility for this postcard. 

 

1903 grant; demolished in 1964.

Austin

(L) The older card dates from soon after construction.

(R) Charming Curt Teich card, printed in 1926. The trees are more mature and an attractive coupe is parked along the curb. Teich gave the plantings a plethora of flowers.

1901 Carnegie Library.
Damaged by a 1928 tornado, remodeled in similar fashion to the Carnegie library in Downers Grove (IL), 1964. Per Placeography, razed 1996.

Bemidji

(L) This is a 'Photochrome by W.A. Fisher Co., Bemidji, Minn.'
(R) Bloom Bros. card printed in Minneapolis.

1908 grant, built 1909.
Designed by W.D. Gillespie, and is now the Bemidji Community Art Center.

Just like the card shows, the Carnegie building is on the lakefront, which makes its survival even more amazing.

Bemidji's library is part of the Kitchigami Regional Library System.

Benson

(L) Theo E. Lee & Son card.
(R) Photo post card, copyrighted in 1913. It was mailed later that year. 

 

1912 grant. Replaced in 1992. Demolished since.

Brainerd

1903 grant: replaced in the mid-1980s. Still standing and part of the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Woolworth's card, probably printed by Curt Teich. Mailed in 1912.

 

Coleraine

Late 1908 grant: still in use. Designed by Kinney and Halden, but built by the A.C. Thomas Corporation. Someone was quite insistent that one does not take the shortest line between two points to reach the entrance.

 

L.L. Cook card, mailed in 1949, with some unfortunate water damage.

Crookston

(L) Harry W. Brandow card, mailed in 1909.
(R) Bloom Bros. postcard which seemed to have been utilized to announce the March 14, 1974 Windy City Postcard Club gathering

 

Late 1903 grant. Replaced, but still standing. Part of the Lake Agassiz Regional Library.

Charming real photo postcard showing a winter scene of the Library with three children. I hope it was taken during a thaw, because one is in short pants.

Detroit Lakes

One of the Seven Sisters Claude & Starck Carnegie libraries

Two cards illustrate why you can't rely on linen finish cards for a totally accurate picture of a building. Still, it's a pretty good example of Prairie style. It should be, as a Claude & Starck design.

1911 Carnegie building. Currently a branch of Lake Agassiz Regional Library, as is Crookston, above.

 

Captioned as Public Library, Detroit - Minn. Bobinski lists a Detroit, Minnesota as a Carnegie grant recipient. Detroit was the 1877 community name.

Photo postcard mailed ca. 1914 from Brainerd to Detroit.

Duluth

Duluth received three Carnegie grants since 1899.

Two beautiful pre-WWI postcards. Neither was postally used: both have divided backs.

 

1901 grant: built in 1902. Replaced ca. 1980.

A rather pretty building bears some stylistic quirks, such as a tile roof coupled with Federal building details, including that dome.

 

(L) The Curt Teich 1910/11 card is unusual in that it bears a photo credit: Mc Kinzie.

 

Today, the building appears to be owned by a management firm whose stated goal was to restore the building (web site no longer on line, and domain for sale). I have no independent confirmation of the intent.

 

The new building is rather scary looking. It has a Rorschach quality: I see an aerial hockey rink. Perhaps you see a ship's prow.

Eveleth

The Hockey Hall of Fame gets a much more prominent place on the city's website. In another gesture of disrespect, the library collection spent some time in Eveleth's high school.

 

1911 Carnegie grant, built in 1914, expanded in 1924. Still in use.

Architect William J. Sullivan designed more Carnegie buildings, along with the amazing Naniboujou Club Lodge.

Fairmont

Classic Revival, Type A plan.
1903 grant: demolished in 1968. Replaced by the Martin County Library, which incorporates some salvage from the Carnegie building of 1904.

 

This is yet another of those non=attributed (possibly Massure) cards with lurid, unnecessary tinting.

 

Fergus Falls

1905 Carnegie library building from a 1904 grant. Replaced, and demolished. It had two fireplaces to help dispel the chill.

 

All I know about the postcard is that it was printed in Germany, and assigned the number 2.

Glenwood

1907 grant: opened in 1908. Per Placeography, its architect was A.S. Foss, from Elbow Lake. Probably not the most challenging contract. The building is still in use.

(L) Photo postcard showing no signs of activity. Perhaps photographed pre-opening?
(R) Black and White brand card, also never mailed.

 

Grand Rapids

(L) Original facade of the Carnegie building, built from a 1905 grant.

It's featured on an early Auburn Postcard postcard.

(R) Photo postcard, slightly newer.

(L) Real photo, post-1938 WPA modernization.

 

The rest of the Carnegie building was engulfed between 1968 and 1971. After 2002, occupied by the Carnegie Business Center. 

Hibbing

1906 grant. Demolished ca. 1953, with a sadly vacant lot and a historic marker all that remains.

 

Heather Jo Maki's Hibbing, Minnesota shows a fantastic interior view of the Carnegie building, and states that its murals were preserved and exist in various Hibbing buildings.

Despite the reverse of this scan, all we know is that it's a 'Glazed Lithochrome Style' card. Aubin took the photo, however, which is clearer than the photo card above.


Either the building is copyrighted, or the circled C above the entrance stands for Carnegie.

Hutchinson

1903 grant: still in use as a library. E.S. Stebbins was its architect, according to a WorldCat ArchiveGrid record.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

(L) Probably a Massure postcard; less gaudy than those of its ilk. Mailed in 1912.

(R) Blue sky genre done better, by E. C. Kropp.

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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.