Carnegie Libraries of Wisconsin

Cities S-Z

Shawano
Along with WIlmette, IL, one of the demolished Seven Sisters Prairie Carnegie libraries.

1914 grant, per Bobinski (1969). Replaced in 1960. If you Google that original address, 121 East Green Bay Street, the Carnegie building is gone. So's the library's history page.

This 'un's a plain Prairie baby. The only visible decorative element is in the brickwork columns. And they skipped the lights of wisdom flanking the entrance.
Somehow, I think Andy wouldn't have minded.

E.C. Kropp card, craftily imitating the Curt Teich 'Blue Sky' line.

Sheboygan (Mead Public Library)
Mead Public Library, Carnegie building, Sheboygan, WI

(L) Tuck Post Cards (British products) can be absolutely mind-blowingly beautiful. This example was printed in Saxony. However, most scenes are of larger cities, not little Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
Behold the Tuck rendition of the Sheboygan Carnegie building!
And I hope the artist had a nice vacation on Lake Michigan.

Mead Public Library, Carnegie building, Sheboygan, WI

E.D. Deuss/E.C. Kropp postcard from the white border era.

Designed by Patton & Miller. Built in 1904: replaced in 1974.
99 and 44/100% razed to make way for the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, which whimsically retained part of the facade

Sparta
Sparta, WI Carnegie library

Both postcards by E.C. Kropp. The publisher's earlier cards are generally the prettiest.

 

 

parta, WI Carnegie library

Slightly Italianate and Richardsonianesque touches on the prescriptive Carnegie design. According to the library's web site, Schick and Roth were the architects of record. Built in 1902. Added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1981, but enlarged in 1982.
Still in use, and recently spruced up.

Stevens Point

1902 Carnegie grant. Henry Foeller was its architect. Razed, 1968.

The current library is downtown, in what looks like former retail space. They've worked wonders with it, especially the young adult section.

Stevens Point, WI Carnegie building, badly retouched on an early E.C. Kropp postcard.

Both are E.C. Kropp cards, of different vintages.

Stevens Point, WI Carnegie building, badly retouched on an early E.C. Kropp postcard.
Stoughton
Stoughton, WI Carnegie library

(L) Postmarked 1909.

(R) Published by the Depot Restoration Committee: 

Stoughton Public Library
Fourth and Main Streets
Stoughton, Wisconsin
The original Carnegie Free Library, constructed with $13,000.00 from the industrialist Andrew Carnegie, was dedicated in March, 1908. A 12,000 sq. ft. expansion costing over one million dollars, plus $400,000 in donations, was completed in late 1990, preserving the past and making a statement for the future.

Stoughton, WI Carnegie library

Built 1906 to a Claude and Starck design: carefully renovated in 1990 by the Potter Design Group.
Stoughton's library is still in use: nearby Madison enables a level of service impossible when a collection is restricted by available space.

Sturgeon Bay
Sturgeon Bay, WI Carnegie Library

(L) 1911 Carnegie building 
lurking under tons of vines.

(R) Vines beginning their assault.

 

No longer functioning as a library.
Looking at the left hand card, I can't help cringing at the thought of bats in buns.

Sturgeon Bay, WI Carnegie Library
Superior
Superior, WI Carnegie library

Superior has two Carnegie buildings. This is the 1901 Main location, which, according to Some Wisconsin Libraries (1904), was designed by architect Carl Wirth. Also, it's red. Both may be rubble unless a savior steps in soon.

 

S.H. Knox card with suspect color notes.

Tomah

A 1916 deluxe Claude & Starck building, built from 1915 grant monies. Still in use, but heavily remodeled with few Prairie School traces remaining.

Tomah, WI Carnegie library

(L) According to this card's purchaser,
'
This is where the Whitfield House used to be-'
I have no reason to doubt her.
Imitation 'Blue Sky' card distributed by the Schultz Bros., possibly the midwest dime store chain.

(R) Moen Photo Service postcard.

Tomah, WI Carnegie library, in sepia
Two Rivers (Joseph Mann Library)
Photo postcard of Two Rivers, WI Carnegie library

(L) RPPC, mailed in 1914 to librarian Mrs. Cushman of the Reedsburg Public Library. 'Trivers' must have been all over that Carnegie money as soon as it came.
(R) 'Blue Sky' styled postcard.

Two Rivers, WI Carnegie library
Glass insert from the arched entryway to the Joseph Mann Library, restored and displayed in the successor library, Lester Public Library, of Two Rivers, WI.

Replaced by the Lester Public Library in 1995.

1914 Carnegie grant. This Louis Sullivanesque building replaced the original Joseph Mann Library and was extensively remodeled over the years. The lakefront building was demolished, but the Lester iteration is also beautiful.

Photo of the glass insert © 2016 by the author/photographer, Judy Aulik.

Viroqua (McIntosh Memorial Library)
McIntosh Memorial Library, in Carnegie building, Viroqua, WI

John T. Faber card.

McIntosh Memorial Library, in Carnegie building, Viroqua, WI

E.C. Kropp card.

McIntosh Memorial Library, in Carnegie building, Viroqua, WI

Likely an Excel Post Card

Carnegie grant: 1904. The Claude & Starck facade was essentially obliterated in 1975, according to Larry Nix, library historian.
Soon to be replaced. Probably due to state budget cuts, the Library will share its lobby with Western Technical College.

Interior of the Virocqua, WI Carnegie library

John T. Faber seemed to have a way with library interior images. This is one of the best I've ever seen. It was printed in Germany and mailed in 1910.

Washburn
Washburn, WI Carnegie library

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

(R) L.L. Cook photo postcard shows details of the brick and stonework.

 

Still in use: built by Henry Wildhagen, funded from a 1903 grant. I believe this is the northernmost Carnegie building in Wisconsin.

Washburn, WI Carnegie library
Watertown
Watertown, WI Carnegie library

This is probably my favorite grouping of library postcards.

 

(L) Note the lack of people and the solitary fire hydrant in the lower right hand corner.
The righthand card gives you palm trees.

Watertown, WI Carnegie library

By using the number and spacing of its windows, compare the size of this library to that of Stoughton (above), a city of approximately the same size 100 years ago; and to that of Waukesha (below), which was a booming spa town at the turn of the century. How did Watertown do so much more with its funding? Today, Watertown Public Library is actively seeking to expand its facility.

The Carnegie Library was built in 1907. Further history is available at Watertown History. The lefthand card was mailed the same year, and the library looked like it was still under construction , an observation with which the site concurs.

Watertown, WI Carnegie library

(L) E.C. Kropp card mailed in 1913. Palms and people.

(R) E.A. Bishop interior view. You can see an original service desk, a globe, fabulous light fixtures, and even more palms.

 

 

Interior of Watertown, WI Carnegie library, showing service desk
Waukesha
Waukesha, WI Carnegie library

(L) L.L. Cook photo postcard.

(R) Wm. L. Calkins postcard, printed in Germany.

 

(R, below) Soldiers' Monument and Public Library, Waukesha, Wis.

Terrible production values on this tinted card.

Waukesha, WI Carnegie library

Today it's hard to distinguish the original Carnegie building from the additions updating Waukesha Public Library. The latest was completed in 2005. The 1904 section, designed by local architect Charles Anderson,  remains as one of the nicest reading rooms around, with extensive newspaper holdings and historical displays. But natural disasters have not been kind to Cutler Park which surrounds the facility. A freak windstorm uprooted many of its stately oaks in 1998. Building damage was limited, unlike that in its neighborhood.

Soldiers' Monument and Public Library, Waukesha, WI
Waupaca

This was built using a 1913 Carnegie grant, and is no longer in use as a public library. However, the Holly History and Genealogy Center occupies the Carnegie building today.

Waupaca, WI Carnegie library in "blue sky" style

(L) E.C. Kropp card.
(R) H. Montgomery card which evaded cancellation.

Waupaca, WI Carnegie library on glossy postcard
Waupun

According the the library's website, this is one of 3 Wisconsin public libraries to trace back to its city's library association. According to Nix, it received its Carnegie grant in 1904. I guess one can't expect 100 years of gratitude. Building in use as the Waupun Heritage Museum.

Waupun, WI Carnegie library

(L) L.L. Cook postcard with some ink bleedthrough.

(R) Unattributed photo postcard.

 

Waupun, WI Carnegie library
E.C. Kropp linen finish postcard of Waupun's Carnegie library.

As an aside, it takes a special lunacy to hand color the hydrangeas to the left of the entrance in yellow and orange. For stark graphic realism, see the photo postcards instead.

Wausau

1903 grant. 1929 and 1968 additions. The building must not have been maintained well, however, because after a 1974 merger with the Marathon County system, it came down ca. 1992. 

Wausau, WI Carnegie library

(L) Card from 'The Leader.' What it led, I have little idea.

(R) Card published by J. Rohde.

Wausau, WI Carnegie library
Wausau, WI Carnegie library, summer view, linen finish
Wausau, WI Carnegie library, summer view, linen finish
Wausau, WI gardens, with Carnegie library in background

Welcome to the weird world of linen finish. E.C. Kropp (L,C) and Curt Teich captured the library gardens in a riotous manner.

Wauwatosa

This is the only Carnegie grant (1905) I know of which was used to provided a sizable addition to an existing (1892) building, which explains its atypical appearance.

Wauwatosa, WI Carnegie library

(L) Postmarked 1909. Published locally by the Lefeber Bros., this card featured the library which resembled a large home, albeit a Neapolitan flavored one.
(R) German card published by A.C. Bosselman & Co., sent 1907. Its colors are a bit more plausible.

Wauwatosa, WI Carnegie library

Today, Wauwatosa Public Library is in a large downtown building, last remodeled and expanded in 1992. 

HOME     Wisconsin libraries, R-Z     BACK