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Carnegie Libraries of St. Louis

The sight of rows upon rows of card catalogues is rapidly disappearing from America's libraries. (Chicago's Newberry Library still has them, however.) How many people remember the odd rules that had to be followed to type a catalog card?
Before 2010, this room had been converted to a reference/genealogy room. I don't know its current use.


Lovely Phostint card by Detroit Publishing. Most of the library Phostints are of Boston or St. Louis.

Garden view of the St. Louis, MO Central Library

By Buxton & Skinner

Postcard from Beacon Series M.

A. Holtzmann postcard.

1907 Carnegie building, designed by Cass Gilbert.

The St. Louis Central Library was modeled on the New York City Public Library, and in turn served as the model for Detroit's main library, according to Van Slyck.

The library is most emphatically in use. A 2004 visit (photo at left © Judy Aulik) saw the library swarming with people, and most were using books. Nice atmosphere.

Photograph copyright by Judy Aulik, 2004
Barr Branch

Named for a famous Barr, famous for Famous-Barr.

In 1995, this branch was closed for a total renovation, and provides vital service today.

Another American News card, printed in New York. Never mailed.

Cabanne Branch

The Cabanne branch, near Visitation Park, is located in a 1908 Carnegie building. It has been beautifully kept up. 

(October, 2011 Google Street View)


The branch still exists.

Carondelet Branch

Renovated 2012, and still in use.

(L) This image appears to have been taken before the building was occupied. It was published for the Elite Drug Store, and was mailed in 1916 by a woman suffering from a nervous headache.

(R) This card uses the same image, from the American News Co.

Crunden Branch

This delightful branch library, at Cass & 14th Avenue, was first converted into a bank, then furtively demolished in 2005. 

It was designed by Eames & Young and built by the Murch Brothers in 1908. In 1909, it was named after educator

Frederick Morgan Crunden, who extricated the Library from the school system.

Perhaps due to its location--eventually the Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex was built nearby--Crunden Branch fell into neglect. The Neoclassical building was sold to Pulaski Bank in 1953, but a new location was built at 2008 Cass. After it closed in 1981, the area appears to have no library services, although the replacement building (unlike the abandoned Divoll branch) is still maintained without boarded over doors and windows.

This was a difficult postcard to identify. Printed by Americhrome, and mailed in 1910, Public Library, St. Louis, Mo. is its only clue.


The site linked above, plus St. Louis Postcard Project, provided me the information absent from the library's web site. Eames & Young Architectural Photographs Collection has an excellent image of the building.

Crunden Branch, Carnegie-funded, of the St. Louis Library

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